The impact of sports charity the Football Foundation’s work in partnership with the Birmingham County FA over the last decade has been shown following the publication of new research.
The Foundation helps improve local sports facilities with money from its core funding partners, the FA, the Premier League and the government (via Sport England). Since the Foundation was set up in 2000 it has worked closely with the Birmingham County FA to support 244 grass roots sports projects across the county with grants worth £13.5 million. These grants have attracted further partnership funding of £21.6million into similar areas.
This investment has so far provided Birmingham with 23 new pitches – both real and artificial, 13 new changing pavilion, 79 Grow the Game grants towards club development, 101 new, safe goal posts and 12,240 free junior football kits.
One of the largest grants came last February when £464,129 was awarded to Boldmere Falcons FC, for a 3G artificial grass pitch and changing rooms to allow the club use of elite training facilities, changing rooms and medical and referees provisions. Previously, the club could not train on the site during the winter and could not offer enough adequate facilities for its female members.
Prior to the establishment of the Football Foundation in 2000 there was a recognised under-investment in football facilities. Subsequently, a determination emerged to improve the country’s dilapidated community football sites.
After more than a decade of Foundation investment, monitoring and evaluation evidence demonstrates that participation on sites that are enhanced with Foundation funding increases by an average of 50% when they open, and by a further 25% over the following four years.