Boost for football facilities across Uttlesford with plans for significant investment

Football facilities across England are set for significant investment. Picture: DANNY LOO

Football facilities across England are set for significant investment. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

A multi-million-pound nationwide plan has been launched to help “unlock the power of football pitches in England” and allow more people to play the game as well as “improving their physical and mental health, empowering young people and strengthening communities”.

Every area in the country has a plan to enable investment in football facilities to be accurately targeted, identifying the priority projects for potential investment.

What are the priorities for investment?

This LFFP, with guidance from local partners, has developed a list of high-level projects for potential investment. Each is aligned to the investment priorities set out in the National Football Facilities Strategy, which include thousands of new 3G football-turf pitches and improved natural-turf pitches.

For Uttlesford this means a proposal of 12 priority projects


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The report said: “The strengths of football in Uttlesford include youth female and youth male provision and it is recommended that this is sustained and encouraged to grow further.

“However, provision gaps do exist, these include disability and futsal.

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“It is, therefore, recommended that the future football development priorities for Uttlesford are to start disability sessions within the authority, grow the adult female team numbers as well as providing a Wildcats centre, develop a futsal offer through affiliated football and recreational formats and provide a recreational offer for all demographics.”

To do this the plan has identified that there is a shortfall of five full-size 3G football-turf pitches, 13 improved grass pitches, five changing rooms or clubhouses and one small-sided facility.

Saffron Walden County High School and Mountfitchet Roomera Leisure Centre, Eastern Park in Little Dunmow as well the general Saffron Walden and Dunmow areas have been identified as possible locations for the five 3G pitches although nothing is confirmed yet.

Six of the 10 “key grass pitch sites”, which account for the equivalent of 13 full-time pitches, have been prioritised for improvement work. These are the Causeway Recreation Ground, Laundry Lane and Flitch Green Community Centre in Dunmow, Takeley Sports Field, Elsenham Recreation Ground in Bishop’s Stortford and Herberts Farm Playing Field in Saffron Walden.

Eastern Park and the “Saffron Walden area” appear on the list of places that need new clubhouse or changing room provision while Elsenham, Takeley and Laundry Lane require refurbishment work.

The next steps will be to start applications for future funding.

Each priority project that progresses to a funding application via the Football Foundation will produce a detailed site development plan, specifying all football development activity, usage and key partner engagement.

Each will also have to show how it will deliver key participation outcomes, be a good quality, sustainable facility and demonstrate suitable match-funding.

The report added: “Successful delivery will require the collective effort of all local partners. It is recommended that the important work undertaken by these partners to produce this plan continues in the form of on-going dialogue and collaborative work to deliver priority projects and review progress.”

For more on each area’s plan go to https://footballfoundation.org.uk/local-plans

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