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University of Bradford awarded £500,000 for new 3G pitch and changing room at Laisteridge Lane

Published: Tue 24 May 2016

Grassroots sport in Bradford is set to benefit from a major cash injection following the news that University of Bradford have been awarded a grant of £500,000 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

The grant will enable the University to not only provide its students and staff with state-of-the art playing and changing provisions, but also provide facilities for the local community including local schools, junior and senior football clubs, other sports clubs and the West Riding FA.

The sports hub will comprise a new, floodlit, 3G full-size football pitch, four tennis courts, fully refurbished changing pavilion, officials’ changing rooms, a physio room, reception area and a new conditioning suite geared towards team sport training.

The current Laisteridge Lane pitch and changing accommodation, which are situated approximately five minutes’ walk from the main university campus, have been open for more than 15 years now and are in a poor state of repair – the pitches in particular are prone to waterlogging during heavy downpours.

The Football Foundation worked in partnership with the University and the West Riding FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan. This foresees growth in participation levels at the site as a result of the funding.

Specifically, team numbers will rise from 44 to 71, with a strong focus on the 11v11 game, thanks to amateur partner clubs Horton Hot Shots JFC, Alpha United FC, Manningham JFC and St Bede's FC, who will all call the facility home.

The site’s proximity to a large student population means that there is also a drive to increase participation within the 18-23 age bracket, and the site will also host the West Riding FA’s Amateur League and the Bradford Sunday Alliance League.

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 14,200 grassroots projects worth over £1.3 billion.

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.

Chris Spargo, Head of Commercial Services at the University of Bradford, said: “The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant to the University enables us to significantly improve the sporting offer we can make to our students, staff, and local community sports clubs. We constantly strive to work effectively with local clubs and partners and this facility will no doubt help to improve grassroots sport in the area.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Congratulations should go to University of Bradford for working with the West Riding County FA to secure this Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant.

“Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded 412 grants worth £18.9m across West Riding County towards grassroots sports projects worth nearly £39m with money generously provided by our funders: the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England.”

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