The Premier League has helped fund a new 3G pitch at non-league Chichester City, that will help the club, the development of girls' and women’s football as well as the Sussex town's community.
In addition to this funding, the remaining project value was provided by a further £150,00 from the Premier League Stadium Fund via the Club Development Fund, £30,000 from Chichester City FC and £300,000 from Chichester District Council.
As well as continuing to be home to Chichester City, whose senior men's side play in the Isthmian League South East Division, tier eight of the English football pyramid, the pitch will help the club’s plans to create four new women's teams and its first disability teams in the next five years.
Top quality sports facility now the centre of the local community 🎉— Football Foundation (@FootballFoundtn) January 27, 2024
Sports Minister, @StuartAndrew, opened @ChiCityFC's fantastic new pitch - funded by a £729k @FootballFoundtn grant made possible by @premierleague, @FA and @DCMS, in addition to @ChichesterDC investment.
In addition, it will be used to deliver football and multi-sport programmes for Chichester University, while Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation, the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion, will run both boys’ and girls’ player pathways centres at the site.
The club has partnered with local charities, including a homeless charity and a refugee charity, to run programmes, and also Sussex FA, who will run disability football sessions.
Attending the opening of the pitch were Bill Bush CBE, Senior Adviser at the Premier League, Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State and MP for Chichester and the Sports Minister, Stuart Andrew MP.
They all expressed the belief that the new facility offers a huge boost for the local community on many levels.
"I don't think the grassroots level of the game have been as strong as this for a very long time," said Bush. "The investment is going to continue, so they're just going to get stronger."
Keegan added, "There'll be more teams here, more competitive sports here and more people who have met friends here as well."
Those sentiments were echoed by Andrew, who says that the benefits will be experienced by many people.
"This is about physical, mental health wellbeing, but also about bringing communities together," said Andrew. "In just a few weeks there's already more people coming here because it's actually a good place to be.
"If we can get those people more active it means we will have a happier and healthier nation, and that can only benefit all of us."
This project is one of more than 900 in England that are benefiting from £81million funding from the Government and its Football Foundation partners the Premier League and The FA.
This funding will deliver over 60 artificial grass pitch projects, over 130 grass pitch projects and 35 changing facility projects, as well as floodlights and goalposts.
The Premier League has co-funded more than £1billion of investment into grassroots facility development since 2000 via the Football Foundation, which has delivered more than 70,000 grants across England and Wales.