Pitch perfect play for Staddiscombe

Playing fields that have been dogged by drainage and condition problems have been officially opened following a major revamp.

Staddiscombe playing fields are ready for the new football season after the eight full-size  senior football pitches had high specification drainage and new goal posts installed.

Other works carried out by the contractors include soil improvements and turf care such as ground breaking, sand dressing, fertilisation and weed treatment.

The full sized pitches are used by teams belonging to the Plymouth and West Devon Combination Football League and Plymouth University.

The project which costs around £410,000 has been funded by the Council through its Section 106 funding and capital grants of £249,460 from the Football Association/Football Foundation, £50,000 from Sport England and £40,000 from Plymouth University.                               

Cabinet Member for Culture Councillor Glenn Jordan said: “Staddiscombe is one of the most popular playing pitches in Plymouth but they have been plagued by drainage problems.

“We need to make sure our playing pitches are fit for the job. We are delighted that the FA as well as our partners in the city pitched in to improve these fields. It means a lot to us and a lot to the many players and their families and friends".

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League and thee FA Facilities Fund has enabled Plymouth City Council to upgrade to improved grass pitches. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.

“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.

“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, the FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Plymouth is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love of it and to stay healthy.”

The Council’s Plan for Playing Pitches outlines a commitment 'to be a city that provides a good supply of well managed and maintained playing pitches and ancillary facilities, which are fit for purpose, meet identified needs and encourage residents to maintain and increase their participation in sport.

The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 14,000 grants worth more than £560m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £780m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 179 grants worth nearly £13m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £26m across the whole of Devon.

By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game.

Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.