This week, Trudy Harrison MP met with representatives from the Football Association (FA) and Active Cumbria to discuss proposals to improve grassroots football across Copeland and Allerdale.
As part of the Copeland Local Football Facility Plan (LFFP), a range of projects have been identified across the Borough. The Plan has an initial programme of nine projects , including 3G Football Turf Pitches, improved grass pitches, changing rooms, pavilions and small sided facilities.
The LFFP will be the go-to document for football investment in Copeland and has been produced by The Football Foundation, a partnership between Government, The FA and Premier League, with support from Copeland Borough Council, Cumberland and Lancashire County Football Associations, Active Cumbria and local grassroots clubs and leagues.
The Football Foundation, which helps communities improve their local football facilities through grant funding, is now working with local authorities and partners to turn the plans into reality.
The LFFP does not guarantee the success of future funding applications; each priority project identified will still have to follow an application process to show how it will deliver key participation outcomes, be a good quality, sustainable facility and demonstrate suitable match-funding.
Trudy said: “I was pleased to meet with the FA and Active Cumbria this week to discuss projects for potential investment in Copeland. Grassroots football is an integral part of many local communities, helping to keep people active, as well as having a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing.
“Every child and adult should have access to quality community sports facilities and equipment, and I look forward to working with the Football Foundation and local partners to help the 161 teams across Copeland improve their local facilities, as well as supporting aims to double female participation and increase provisions for those with disabilities.”
Since 2000, The Foundation has been working to revolutionise grassroots football facilities across the county with a strong focus on boosting women’s and girls’ participation in football, and has delivered community sports projects worth over £1.5 billion into local communities across the country.
Craig Lewis, Football Development Manager for Cumberland FA added: “The work to complete the Local Football Facility Plans has given us some key insight into the fantastic work which has already been done as well as the challenges facing the grassroots football community across Cumberland. These plans will now form our facility development priorities for the next ten years whilst still seeking additional opportunities to enhance our work with wider stakeholder groups to unlock investment for the grassroots game to benefit from.”
“We look forward to working with those across Copeland as well as the wider County to try and bring projects to life to provide a better playing experience for all who play, coach, volunteer and officiate within the game.
For more information on funding opportunities through The Football Foundation please visit: https://footballfoundation.org.uk/looking-for-funding