Multi-sports facilities are to receive funding from the Football Foundation
To enable more people to have access to high-quality facilities, the charity is also improving grass pitches.
By 2025, the Football Foundation will invest 40% of its funds in multi-sport projects.
By improving the landscape of sport throughout the country, more people will have access to the sports they enjoy.
The project is estimated to cost £92 million over three years, including £15 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England to improve grass pitches at cricket, rugby league, and rugby union grounds.
The announcement was accompanied by the expansion of PitchPower into more sports.
Since 2020, the foundation’s web app has been available for football facilities, but will now be available for rugby union, rugby league, and cricket in 2023.
Clubs and organisations can use the app to conduct grass pitch inspections, assisted by Grounds Management Association experts providing tailor-made advice and recommendations for improving the pitch.
The PitchPower app will allow users to apply for funding to support improvements identified through the app next year, says Tim Hollingsworth, PitchPower’s CEO.
“The rollout of the PitchPower app for football, cricket and rugby is a major step forward for facility enhancement, bringing together a host of major sporting bodies in exactly the way our Uniting the Movement strategy seeks to do,” he said.
“I am also pleased that 40% of the Football Foundation’s funding over the next three years will also have a multi-sport benefit in addition to football – this is huge and will benefit multi-sport pitches and facilities up and down the country, ensuring more people can play more sport, more often.”
The Football Foundation’s pledge to increase funding into multi-sport projects will see benefits for sports such as rugby and cricket, but also netball and basketball.
The partnership that made these projects possible has pleased Gareth Southgate, the manager of the England men’s national team.
“The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation does so much more than helping communities improve their local football facilities and its new commitment to multi-sport facility funding marks an exciting time for grassroots sport across the country,” said Gareth, who was at the launch event with representatives from the English cricket, rugby union and rugby league teams..
“PitchPower is going to be a game changer for grass pitch sports in this country.
“Around 90% of the affiliated football game is played on grass but we know that millions of players are left disappointed every year when their matches are cancelled due to poor quality pitches, something the Football Foundation and its partners are working tirelessly to prevent.”