Grassroots sport in Barnsley is in rude health following the opening of a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch.
The pitch (AGP) is funded by the Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF).
Following a £165,883 grant from the PLCFF, the new £260,883 3G AGP, which is situated at Oakwell, the home of Barnsley FC, will allow for the continuation and growth of on-site community initiatives delivered by Barnsley FC’s Community Sports & Education Trust.
The development will benefit a broad range of local people, of all abilities, across four key themes: education; health; social inclusion and sports participation.
Funded by the Premier League and delivered by the Football Foundation, £18m is being invested to develop new or refurbished sports facilities for local people across the country.
The fund is open to all football club community-led organisations from the Premier League, Football League, and Football Conference, including the Conference North and South Divisions.
The new PLCFF-enhanced sites help to strengthen links between professional football clubs and their communities, becoming venues for the clubs’ outreach work.
Ben Mansford, Barnsley FC Chief Executive and Chair of the Trust, said: “The Trust is absolutely delighted to have received this considerable support from the Premier League Community Facility Fund, and also other stakeholders.
“The delivery of the facility was a real team effort and everyone involved deserves praise, in particular Wayne Bullimore and Mary Dyson of the Trust.
“I look forward to seeing the pitch utilised by the Trust, the club and the community at large to ensure participation and enjoyment of sport for all, which in turn should ensure a sustainable legacy for the pitch at Oakwell.”
Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “The Premier League Community Facility Fund is all about providing sports facilities that reinvigorate local communities, and we are extremely pleased that Barnsley and the surrounding area will benefit from the new 3G pitch.
“As professional football clubs at every level of the pyramid continue to play active roles as hubs of their communities, this pitch will provide more people with an opportunity to enjoy the game and emulate their heroes.”