Thursday, February 14, 2013
YOUNG football fanatics are just a small part of the community who are set to benefit from an “exciting” £330,000 project aimed at transforming sporting facilities in the town and inspiring people to get active.
After five years of hard work and intense lobbying for funding, builders have finally begun the six-month job of revitalising the sports pavilion at Herbert’s Farm on Debden Road.
It is the first step in bringing the facility up to Football Association standards. Improvements to the sports pitches will begin in June and the hope is grassroot clubs from across the sporting spectrum will use it all year round.
“This is a hugely exciting project which will benefit the whole community and we want it to become a facility the town is proud of,” Matt Clare, chairman of the Herbert’s Farm Saffron Walden Partnership (HFSWP), a trust formed by Spartak 78 Youth Sports Club and Plantation Youth FC.
“It will enable us to deliver a first class football facility here in Saffron Walden which can be used not only by people in the town but also the surrounding villages.”
Work to refurbish the pavilion got underway two weeks ago after the partnership received a grant of £131,438 from the country’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation.
It followed earlier grants from Viridor Credits, Sport England, Saffron Walden Town Council and fundraising by both football clubs which gave the partnership the cash needed to launch the project.
The new sports pavilion will include two separate changing rooms with toilets and showers and a changing room for officials. There will also be a club room, cafeteria and kitchen which are designed to be used by the wider community and not just football clubs.
Extensive drainage and improvements to the pitch will begin in the summer and completed in various stages over the next two years.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I commend HFSWP and the Essex FA for working tirelessly to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing the end result in the near future.”