West Northamptonshire Council has joined forces with The Northamptonshire FA and The Football Foundation to improve the quality and accessibility of grassroots football facilities across West Northants.
The partnership has been established to support the Football Foundation’s ten-year Local Football Facility Plan, which maps out the football facilities needed across every local authority area in England.
The news comes at a time when our country has a deep sense of pride at the achievements of the England squad in Euro 2020.
Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing, Culture & Leisure, said: “Gareth Southgate’s squad showed the kind of spirit that makes this nation great.
“We want to make sure our children have the kind of facilities that will help them on their way to being England stars of the future.”
The Government committed £25million of new funding to support the growth of grassroots football in its spring Budget, the first part of a £550million commitment over a ten-year period.
Councillor Brown added: “We will be working with the Northamptonshire FA and The Football Foundation to turn these plans into reality.
“We know that creating better facilities makes a real difference to people’s everyday lives. It means more people can play our national game and improve their physical and mental health, whilst giving young people more to do and building a sense of community around clubs.”
The first stage of the project will be to identify viable locations for new and improved 3G football pitches.
The project also aims to improve the quality of grass football pitches and create more accessible changing facilities.
Stuart Smith of Northamptonshire FA added: “We’re really excited to be having such positive dialogue with the new West Northamptonshire Council about improving the facilities for grassroots football.
“Over 700 grassroots teams play in West Northamptonshire so we’re looking forward to helping to deliver these projects for their benefit, and for the local community. Grassroots football is thriving in Northants thanks to the tireless work of the hundreds of club and league volunteers. Hopefully together we can deliver facilities that they can be proud of.”
Cllr Brown added: “We would really like to see these plans accelerated so that we can build these pitches sooner to give our towns and villages the sporting facilities they deserve and get people active throughout West Northamptonshire.”