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Over £1.7m of grants for grassroots football


More than £1.7m worth of grants from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PL/FA:FF), representing 19 grants, were awarded towards grassroots facility projects worth £3.5m between June and December 2015 across the whole of the South East. Funding from the PL/FA:FF goes towards


building new or refurbishing existing floodlit third generation (3G) football turf pitches and changing pavilions. The fund also provides smaller grants for vital improvements, such as replacing unsafe goalposts and purchasing pitch maintenance equipment. This announcement of the latest round of


funding follows the publication of the government’s new Sport Strategy, Sporting


Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, which has seen the Premier League committing further investment into the grassroots over the next three years. The Premier League, The FA and the


government, via Sport England, have provided £102m between 2013 and 2016 towards the PL/FA:FF. The Football Foundation aims to target this investment into areas of greatest need and where it will have maximum effect. Last season facilities that the Football Foundation upgraded with the Fund’s investment recorded an average increase in football participation of seven per cent. Multi-sport participation (i.e. cricket; rugby; netball; etc.) also increased by an average of 8 per


cent at those same sites. This funding includes a £342,265 grant to


Communities First which will enable them to refurbish an existing FTP to form a new floodlit 3G FTP. “The number of grants approved over


the past six months is testimony to our commitment to the pursuit of better grassroots football facilities in this country,” said Martin Glenn, chief executive of The FA. “Next year will see even greater intensity


– continued investment in vital individual projects such as these and also the opening of the first city football hubs – marking a step-change in the nature of grassroots football provision.”


Shopping centre to receive new lease of life


The first phase of a £17m project to reposition and refurbish a four storey retail space in the heart of Ipswich is due to open next month. Architecture, sports and leisure firm LK2


and contractor Simons Group are delivering the project at the Buttermarket Shopping Centre on behalf of Capital & Regional. The redevelopment aims to incorporate


more leisure facilities into the centre and provide a diverse offering to the centre’s visitors. The new entrance on St. Stephen Lane will provide access to new restaurants, a 12 screen multiplex cinema, a bowling alley, an 18,000sq ft gym and additional restaurants, all of which will occupy the first floor. “This project has created new retail


accommodation for key anchor tenants, a food and drink quarter, leisure facilities including a gym and a 12 screen multiplex cinema on the upper levels – which were previously unoccupied,” says Paul


10 leisuredab.co.uk


Starbuck, director at LK2. “This scheme highlights the emerging trend for bringing leisure uses into shopping


centres which have surplus retail space, in order to create a vibrant retail and leisure destination within a city centre.”


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