The Football Association has announced the formal launch of the Pitch Improvement Programme (PIP) and a partnership between The FA and Charterhouse Turf Machinery. The programme is aimed at improving the quality of natural turf pitches across all levels of the game with specialist advice and guidance via site visits, with the opportunity to obtain grants and discounted rates off the recommended machinery required to improve pitches. A website has also been developed with the aim of supporting local groundsmen and volunteers.
The contract was won after stiff competition and Charterhouse Turf Machinery has been selected as the preferred partner for the Programme, signing a four year contract to be the sole machinery supplier. With the aim of getting more people playing football, this key initiative has been detailed in The FA's National Facilities Strategy, and will support the delivery of the new FA National Game Strategy. The machinery and support available to clubs and leagues will help to ensure better facilities are available for both training and matches.
Prior to delivering the programme nationally, a pilot programme ran during 2014 with Charterhouse supporting this and supplying machinery to demonstrate their ability for the scheme - the feedback from the clubs involved was fantastic and helped contribute to the awarding of the contract in July this year along with a significant and ground breaking proposal.
Charterhouse understands this programme is all about improving pitches, and not just cutting grass. To that end, the company will be working closely with the industry to ensure the best range of machinery will be available to suit all requirements. The company already has a number of partnerships in place to start delivering the requirements of The PIP.
Commenting on the initiative, Kelly Simmons, FA Director of Participation and Delivery said "The Pitch Improvement Programme was established in direct response to a growing call from local clubs for help with pitch improvements. The project directly supports grassroots clubs by providing support and guidance along with harnessing expertise from specialists such as Charterhouse and providing the equipment that clubs desperately need. The expertise and quality of the machinery offered will be invaluable and offers a genuinely sustainable solution for those clubs seeking to improve the quality of their pitches."
Pictured above l-r: Matt Bartle - FA Facilities & Investment Manager, Herman de Bree - Redexim Charterhouse, Mark Pover - FA National Facilities & Investment Manager, Curtis Allen - Charterhouse