Partners collaborate to fund new community 3G pitch at Hungerford Secondary School
Fresh investment into local football facilities will bring great community benefits
School children, the Hungerford community and beyond are set to benefit from fresh investment into local football facilities thanks to a £539,000 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation, plus collaborative contributions from local partners.
Work will start this month on a new full-size 3G football turf pitch at John O' Gaunt Secondary School to replace the current smaller pitch which has reached the end of its 'life'. The new pitch will become a key training venue for Hungerford Football Club and many other local clubs.
The £804,000 project had been identified by the Football Foundation and the Berks and Bucks Football Association as having potential for community use and has been supported by West Berkshire Council who are adding £75,000, which Greenham Trust are match funding with a further £75,000 and the Excalibur Academies Trust contributing £70,000. Hungerford Town Council have contributed £10,000 and Hungerford Town Football Club £6,350.
"The new, larger 3G pitch will be a great asset to both the school and local communities. We're delighted work is starting.
""Keeping people active, fit and healthy is a key priority for the council and we're grateful for the collaboration and support of our partners. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to secure the funding needed to replace the existing facility and install such a top quality pitch as part of the Council's Playing Pitch Strategy.The positive impacts of exercise and social activity on mental health are well known and were brought even more to the fore during and following the pandemic. It's another reason that playing pitches are so valued by our communities."
Richard Hawthorne, Principal at John O' Gaunt School says,
"This is a real triumph of collaboration, heart, energy and investment in the present and future of our wonderful, wider rural community. First class facilities such as these will mean so much to the young people in the area, but also to their families and neighbours in the town, its satellite villages and environment.
"It's a truly dynamic project which will be an important hub of vitality and aspiration, and we believe the influence and connectivity will be far-reaching. Sport brings us together in shared spirit, effort and celebration. It means a very great deal that this will be at the heart of our community, to which we are so privileged and proud to belong."
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation says,
"The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners - the Premier League, The FA and Government - to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country.
"Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthening local communities. This grant award to John O' Gaunt Secondary School towards developing a new 3G football turf pitch is fantastic news for the local community and will help give more people access to a great place to play."
Chris Boulton, Chief Executive of Greenham Trust says,
"We are delighted to support this community project, which will bring a state-of-the-art facility to Hungerford to promote and develop football throughout the local community for years to come. The new pitch will enable more people to have access to the facility in all weathers and reduce the need for teams to travel further afield for training purposes."
Corinne Breingan, Head of Communications at Excalibur Academies Trust says,
"I couldn't agree more with the comments above; this new artificial playing pitch will have considerable physical and wellbeing benefits to our students and local community. Collaboratively, to invest such a sizeable amount to this project sends a huge value message to all who will use and respect it. We look forward to seeing the pitch in action in October, perfectly timed for the football season and academic year ahead."
This exciting project is due for completion in mid-October this year.