Further boosts for local footballers

Grassroots footballers in Yorkshire have contributed to an overall 12.4% rise in the number of people playing sport at Football Foundation-funded sites, and a 9% growth in the number of people playing football at Foundation-funded sites.

The spike in participation has been outlined in the Football Foundation’s annual monitoring and evaluation report, which received praise from Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport and Equalities.

The Foundation’s annual monitoring and evaluation (M&E) report highlights the stages and processes undertaken to ensure the money received from their funding partners – the Premier League, The FA, and Government, via Sport England – is performing against its original aims and objectives.

Since 2000, in Yorkshire alone, the Foundation has funded 895 grassroots projects, meaning that region has benefited from £33.4million worth of its Funding Partners’ investment. The Foundation has used this funding to leverage a further £33.5million in partnership funding, thus maximising the investment into grassroots across Yorkshire.

This translates as:

•177 facility projects.

•24 artificial grass pitches.

•52 grass pitches.

•80 changing facilities.

•114 GtG grants worth £520,315.

The Foundation’s focus on a ‘through life’ approach to M&E ensures that each facility it invests in reaches its full potential. Simply, the Foundation does not provide a grant and presume that the required outputs will be delivered. Instead, robust performance management systems enable the Foundation to ensure that any investment is properly targeted to achieve the best possible participation and other outcomes. Indeed, 90.6% of Foundation-funded projects are meeting or exceeding development expectations.

Minister for Sport and Equalities Helen Grant said: “The Foundation’s monitoring and evaluation report shows just how much can be achieved with a strong public-private partnership investment. Our work with the football family is developing high quality sports facilities for local people to enjoy. The 12% increase in sports participation at Football Foundation facilities underlines how modern, third-generation pitches in the right locations can help get people more active.

“I was delighted to announce a new package of funding in October – in the form of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund – worth £102million over the next three years. This will help continue to transform local sports facilities and help improve people’s lives for the better.”

Paul Thorogood, chief executive at the Football Foundation, added: “The data provided in the Football Foundation monitoring and evaluation report once again demonstrates the significant impact that funding provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, is having on the grassroots in Yorkshire.

“The high-quality facilities that we are providing in Yorkshire not only helps to increase the numbers of people who play football purely for the love of doing so, and as a means of helping them to stay fit and healthy, but will also improve the quality of coaching sessions and thereby raise standards and skill levels. This can only help to improve the quality of players available for the England national team in years to come.”

Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 12,025 grants worth more than £490million towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £651million – over £1billion of investment into the grassroots game.