Leisure leagues, the U.K.’s largest providers of small sided football leagues, are proud to announce an £11 million funding pot for grassroots community football.
The money will be used to refurbish old Astroturf pitches across the UK to bring them back into community use.
Leisure Leagues spokesman Andy Thorley said: “We know there are lots of facilities that have old sand-based or other types of pitches which have degraded to a point whereby they desperately need a new surface on them. We have been investing in community participation for decades now, and we have decided the time is right to offer an upgrade service to these artificial pitches that are desperately in need of it.”
The scheme aims to be the fairest of its type in the country. Indeed, one of the key differences between the Leisure Leagues funding and the Football Foundation equivalent is that we will place no conditions on how the pitch can be used, As Andy explained: “For instance, we will not prioritise FA teams, nor will we solely prioritise football. We believe that any pitch that we resurface through one of our grants should be available to all members of the local community, regardless of who they do or do not affiliate to, and regardless of what sport they intend to play on the pitch. A lot of people have told us that they have refused grants from the Football Foundation simply because of the owner’s conditions. Our grants won’t have any conditions attached to them whatsoever.”
Crucially, the funding is not expected to construct brand new artificial pitches from scratch, but only to resurface existing pictures or, in some circumstances, upgrade floodlights when necessary, with Andy explaining: “We believe that our money will go a lot further, and we will get a lot more pitches completed, simply through a straightforward resurfacing program of old pitches, rather than going to the much more costly expense of building brand-new pitches, which require planning applications and extensive ground works.”
Applications for the funding can be made directly to Leisure Leagues and will be open on 1 October 2020, with any schools, academies, universities or other organisations promised an answer within four weeks of any application being made.
Leisure Leagues’ contact details are here: https://www.leisureleagues.net/contact
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