Love Football: Suffolk FA can help your club get funding

Rob Peace, Operations & Academy Director at Needham Market FC, alongside the new 3G facility at the club’s Bloomfields ground. Picture: NICK GARNHAM

Rob Peace, Operations & Academy Director at Needham Market FC, alongside the new 3G facility at the club’s Bloomfields ground. Picture: NICK GARNHAM

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In his latest Love Football column, Nick Garnham details how Suffolk FA can help your club secure vital funds...

From building a brand new state-of-the-art facility to buying a new team kit, developing the game of football costs money.

In an industry which relies heavily on the commitment of volunteers, Suffolk FA are working hard to support clubs to access funding to enhance, build and develop the game.

Working in partnership with the Football Foundation, Sport England, local authorities and partner organisations, Suffolk FA aim to shine a light on the funding opportunities and grants that are available.

The Football Foundation is the largest UK sports charity, and acts as football’s major funder across all levels of the grassroots game.

The Foundation is equally funded by the FA, the Premier League, and the Government through Sport England, and supports the development of new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level.

It is the role of the Suffolk FA to ensure that the Foundation’s funding can be utilised to improve the playing environment and ultimately sustain and increase participation levels across Suffolk’s football landscape.

There are various clubs across Suffolk who have maximised the opportunity that the Football Foundation provide, and through the hard work of their members have completed successful applications for large scale capital investment for the improvement of grass pitches, new clubhouses and pavilions and the provision of 3G Football Turf Pitches.

In Suffolk, over £8 million capital investment has been successfully channelled into 49 different football facility projects by the FA and clubs, resulting in improved football facilities being accessed by Suffolk’s 1,500-plus teams.

During the last season, both Needham Market and Beccles Town have been successful in applications to the Football Foundations Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the provision of a new full-sized football turf pitch.

Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “It’s fantastic that both Beccles Town and Needham Market have been successful in their applications for a grant from the Football Foundation to support their respective facility projects.

“Both clubs have worked hard over many months to raise funds, co-ordinate plans and gather the support of local organisations to ensure their projects were successful.

“Football Foundation 3G football turf pitches, such as the ones being built at these clubs, are a vital vehicle in supporting the local community and enhancing the football experience across all participants.

“They provide safe, purpose built and professional playing surfaces for all formats of the game and I’m sure that both of these clubs will maximise the opportunity that these facilities bring to develop football in the county.”

The Foundation also support smaller scale projects through their Small Grants scheme, which provides grants of up to £10,000 to make improvements to facilities to address any health and safety issues.

This fund is often used by clubs to support the replacement of unsafe goal posts and portable floodlights in addition to purchasing grounds and maintenance equipment.

For teams who play within the English Football League, FA National League or Women’s National League system, the Football Foundation have a Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) which is ring-fenced to support these clubs to improve their stadium facilities for players, officials and spectators.

At the start of each calendar year, the Foundation also release their Grow the Game and Retain the Game Funds, which provide grants of £1,500 for the creation of new female and disability teams, and £750 for the retention of adult male teams.

These are all key areas of FA participation in which funds can support the long-term sustainability of playing opportunities for these groups.

Jodie added: “Whether you are looking to start new teams, retain existing ones, develop coaches, purchase equipment, renovate facilities or develop new ones, we commit to supporting all funding applications from county clubs, leagues and facility providers. “With some tailored advice and guidance, we hope to support our partners to channel the funding opportunities available into local facilities, to ensure that we can collectively enable a thriving local game.”

For further information about funding, please contact Jodie Allard on 01449 616606 or 07432 735961 or via email jodie.allard@suffolkfa.com

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