October facilities bulletin
Welcome to the latest summary of the work that we’re doing to improve the facilities for football in Northamptonshire.
We’re focussing on making improvements “on the pitch” to grass pitches and 3G artificial pitches, whilst also supporting plans to improve off-pitch facilities too.
Further Government investment
This month saw the UK Government commit a further £205m towards grassroots football facilities as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review – a move welcomed by the Football Foundation and Northamptonshire FA. The Football Foundation will use this money to deliver the projects identified through the Local Football Facility Plans, with 70% going towards projects in priority “levelling up” areas.
October 2021 saw eight sites submit their second PitchPower report of the year as part of the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund.
Thanks to Thrapston Town, Woodford United, West Haddon JFC, Weedon, Earls Barton United, Moulton, Crick Athletic and Blisworth for completing their inspections on time.
A PitchPower inspection involves taking a series of photos and measurements of each pitch which are then submitted through the PitchPower website. Shortly after, they received a free, detailed report of recommendations for improving their pitches, maintenance practices and equipment with each pitch provided with a rating of Poor, Basic, Good or Advanced.
A PitchPower report is needed to access Football Foundation funding. Read the PitchPower Frequently Asked Questions and once you’re ready, visit the PitchPower website to start your journey towards improving your pitches.
Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund
This fund provides sites with six years’ worth of funding towards improved maintenance on their pitches for specialist works such as decompaction, over-seeding, fertiliser application and weed killing. For example, an 11v11 pitch rated Basic would receive £10,000 in grant funding over the six years.
16 sites are now part of this programme in Northamptonshire, with talks taking place with three potential new sites last month. Your site might be eligible – why not contact us to find out? You can read more about the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund on the Football Foundation website.
Two sites in North Northamptonshire (specific club names withheld for security reasons) have been awarded grants in excess of £20,000 to purchase new tractors for maintaining their pitches. Compact tractors are flexible and allow a variety of attachments to be mounted on the front and rear to reduce the time it takes for volunteers to perform essential pitch maintenance.
Key Performance Indicator progress
This live figure, collected through PitchPower reports, provides an ongoing progress report of how many pitches we have in Northamptonshire rated good or advanced.
New equipment to help with decompaction – the Oxyshot
The NFA and our grounds maintenance partners, Premiership Lawncare, have joined forces to secure an innovative piece of equipment to treat compaction in football pitches – the OxyShot from Redexim.
During periods of wet weather, soil compaction leads to football pitches becoming waterlogged and matches cancelled. The OxyShot is ideal for ‘on the spot’ treatment of problem areas such as goalmouths and centre circles.
The OxyShot uses a single 25mm probe to inject air into the soil in four directions, at a pressure of up to 110psi, to lift, expand and de-compact the soil, thus relieving compaction and improving drainage. For further information on the OxyShot, read our recent news article.
The NFA are committed to improving the facilities for grassroots football in the County. That’s why we’ve formed an official partnership with Premiership Lawncare to enhance our support. Why not contact them and see how they can help you?
We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Leagues & Clubs Support Officer, Stuart Smith, to discuss your ideas or problems.
Leagues & Clubs Support Officer
Tel: 07983 537025