0 Local sport stars and MPs turn out to welcome yet more 3G pitches into junior facilites

Ryeish Green Leisure Centre (Reading), Falmouth School (Cornwall) and Glossopdale School (Derbyshire) are the latest facilities to benefit from funding made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

Ryeish Green Leisure Centre (Reading)

Reading FC players Chris Gunter and Gareth McCleary were joined by Olympic diving gold medallist Chris Mears to officially open the recently refurbished Ryeish Green Leisure Centre on Wednesday (26 September).

More than £4m has been invested at the leisure centre but at no cost to the tax payer.

The grant enabled Wokingham Borough Council to refurbish and extend the sports centre to provide four team changing rooms and indoor sports facilities. The works on the building were the final stages of the project, with the council having recently improved the natural grass pitches and installed a floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at the site.

The centre was originally closed in 2010, suffering from poor facilities which were no longer fit for purpose. However, the redevelopment with upgraded facilities has given the sports centre a new lease of life. The overhaul of the facilities includes: a 45 station gym for members, a studio, four-court sports hall, changing rooms, as well as a full-size 3G AGP and grass pitches.

Students at neighbouring school, Oakbank will benefit from the new facilities during weekdays as part of their school sport curriculum. As well as the school pupils, partner football clubs Shinfield Rangers FC and Spencers Wood FC would be primary users of the new facility and look to grow to a combined 56 teams across the next five years.

Reading FC Community Trust (RFCCT) will use the site to deliver various community schemes as part of a Pro Club link with Ryeish Green Leisure Centre. This will include delivering weekly Premier League Kicks sessions as well as an extensive summer holiday programme.


Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth officially opened a new third generation (3G). The grant has enabled Falmouth School to install a full-size floodlit 106m x 70m 3G AGP, replacing grass pitches adjacent to the school building. With supporting access paths, storage containers and new car parking facilities, the pitch will cater for the demands of the school pupils and wider community.

The new all-weather pitch includes markings for 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 football for curriculum use by the school and two partner football clubs: Falmouth Town AFC and Falmouth United. As the pitch has been installed with floodlights, it will increase capacity and availability of the facility for the partner clubs thanks to it being usable during the evenings.

In addition to the partner clubs, a number of other local teams will benefit from the new pitch, including Falmouth DC and Perranwell FC. On top of this, as part of a Pro Club link with Falmouth School, Plymouth Argyle's Community Trust will use the site to deliver school holiday camps and community sessions.

Falmouth School were awarded a £362,574 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The school worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Cornwall FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

It is hoped that the new surface will support the creation of 18 new football teams - a number of which would be from partner clubs Falmouth Town AFC and Falmouth United. The most notable increase would be within the Under-14 age categories, where 16 new sides will support an additional 200 players within this demographic.

Left: Glossopdale School. Right: Falmouth School


Ruth George, MP for High Peak, opened a refurbished third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) at Glossopdale School in Derbyshire recently (Saturday 29 September). Their new facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant enabled Glossopdale School to carry out the required refurbishment works to the existing floodlit 106m x 70m floodlit 3G AGP which had reached the end of its usable life. With the facility operating at near full capacity, the primary focus of the refurbishment was retention of play. In addition to this, as there are no other full-sized 3G AGPs within five miles, the all-weather pitch at Glossopdale School is often in high demand and is relied upon by Glossop North End Juniors, Tintwistle FC and the High Peak Junior Football League.

Glossopdale School were awarded a £134,042 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The school worked alongside the Football Foundation and the Derbyshire FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

One of the key objectives over the next five years is for significant growth in the number of adults using the site to play football. It is predicted that the formation of five new Over-18 football teams will result in a 100% increase in player participation within this demographic.

Elsewhere, it is expected that the site will retain existing participation levels through regular training sessions, soccer schools and pay and play sessions, with additional weekend match play.


You can read the full article from the Football Foundation HERE

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