08:16AM, Wednesday 10 June 2020
Football pitches across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire are set to benefit from much needed maintenance during these unprecedented times, with 121 clubs and organisations to receive a share of £289,130 from the Premier League, FA and Government’s Football Foundation.
The Pitch Preparation Fund has been established to help clubs and organisations across the country who are missing out on revenue streams because of COVID-19.
Clubs have found it challenging to maintain their pitches and keep them in a reasonable condition, but these funds will help many get them in shape for the return of football, whenever that might be.
There was a hugely positive response when the application window was opened in May, and £289,130 is now to be distributed between 121 clubs and organisations which will help with the upkeep of 424 pitches and benefit 1,221 local football teams. Of those to benefit, 29 are in the National League system while 92 are grassroots clubs.
The grants will help with essential maintenance work on grass pitches – including vertical decompaction, slitting, over seeding, fertilising and weed killing – and will also be spent on preparatory works such as grass cutting and the setting out and line marking of pitches. Works on artificial surfaces will include deep cleaning, overmarking and FA pitch testing.
Robert Sullivan, interim chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This new investment into Berks & Bucks will provide crucial support for football in the area.
“Our national game is a proven driver of mental and physical health benefits, so it’s important local pitches are match-fit in the event that the Government announces it’s safe for the game to start again.
Jonathan Wood, head of delivery at the Berks & Bucks Football Association, said: “It is fantastic to see that over 120 clubs within the Berks & Bucks area have successfully applied for this fund. The Football Foundation’s Pitch Preparation Fund has come at a crucial time for our clubs, providing them much needed resource to ensure their pitches can continue to be worked on in preparation for the new season. We look forward to working with them moving forward to ensure that football within the area is played on good quality pitches.”
Clubs have also been given access to the Football Foundation Groundskeeping Community, a free online resource developed with the FA and Grounds Management Association.
Anyone in Berks & Bucks can sign up. Click here to find out more, or sign up below.
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