Seven local sports pitches in Wealden are to benefit from grants worth a total of £14,500 through the Pitch Preparation Fund.
The successful organisations are:
- Alderbrook playing field, Crowborough
- Fords Green, Nutley
- Forest Row sports ground
- Hadlow Down MW cricket club
- Hailsham Town FC
- Lime Kiln playing field, Crowborough
- The Oaks, Uckfield
The Pitch Preparation Club was launched by The Premier League, The FA, the Government and Sport England through the Football Foundation, to invest in projects to improve the facilities at lower league clubs.
The FA’s Chief Executive Mark Bullingham, a grassroots coach himself, said:
The positive response to this initiative across the football community has been very encouraging and we remain committed to supporting clubs through this uncertain period.
It is providing grants to clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during the coronavirus crisis and helping them to get their pitches ready for when it is safe to play football again.
Crowborough Athletic FC received £1,500. Mark Matthews from the Club said:
We are striving to have the best playing surface of any team at Step 5 in the football pyramid and we’ve spent the grant on the kind of routine maintenance you’d expect – drainage, equipment, grass seed, etc – mixed in with a lot of hard work from our stadium groundsman, Nick Collick.
Pitches are maintained at a huge cost in relative terms and are one of the club’s major outgoings. With the league season finishing early, and various other club events being cancelled, this grant has gone some of the way to making up the shortfall.
Nus Ghani Wealden MP said:
Having stressed the lack of investment in Wealden football clubs to the Premier League, I am pleased to share this excellent news. The grants will not only improve local facilities and enhance the experience of playing football, but also strengthen our communities in coming together to enjoy the game they love.
Any organisation in Wealden can also access free quality advice on looking after their pitches via the Football Foundation Groundskeeping Community app.