Grassroots sport in the Birmingham region is set to benefit from a major cash injection following the news that Redditch United has been awarded a £561,000 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.
And the money will be the perfect boost ahead of their 125th anniversary season, kickstarting a major £900,000 project that will see the club install a 3rd generation (3G) artificial grass pitch, revamp facilities at the Valley Stadium and grow the community section to nearly 60 junior, disabled and women’s teams.
Redditch United has also managed to secure £88,166 from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, a partner organisation to the Football Foundation that is solely funded by the Premier League. A further £225,000 has come from Redditch United chairman Chris Swan.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has supported more than 14,000 grassroots projects worth over £1.3 billion.
Work at the ground is due to begin in early May and is scheduled to be completed in time for the new season and the opening of the new Redditch United Football Academy.
By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game. Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.
Club chairman Chris Swan said it was an exciting time as the 125-year-old club looked towards a bright new future – offering education, employment and solid community links.
He said: “We are grateful to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and to Redditch Borough Council for helping us realise our exciting plans to improve grassroots sport in the area.
We will be adding to our already extensive community section, forging new strategic partnerships with Birmingham City Ladies and West Bromwich Albion and creating an
exciting new football academy offering students a pathway to university or the chance to follow in the footsteps of the six players who have left us to move into full-time football over the last 18 months.
“We are creating a number of full and part-time jobs and our facilities will be some of the best in the region. And as we start out on our next 125 years we have a plan in place to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the football and the facilities at the Valley Stadium for years to come.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Since 2000, the Foundation has supported 514 grassroots sports projects worth more than £56 million across the Birmingham County FA region. This latest grant for Redditch United will benefit not just Redditch but a whole host of clubs and schools in the surrounding areas.
“Credit should go to all of those who have worked hard to get the project this far, in partnership with the Birmingham County FA and Foundation staff. Facilities like these could not get developed without the generous support from our Funding Partners – the Premier League, The FA, the Government and Sport England.”
Source: Redditch United/Football Foundation