Premier League Launch New Community Facility Fund

Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson,  and Premier League Chief Executive and Football Foundation Trustee Richard Scudamore, have launched a major new programme which will invest in sports facilities across England and Wales.

The Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF), funded by the Premier League and delivered by the Football Foundation, is investing £18 million over three years to develop new or refurbished sports facilities for local people. 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 will also help to strengthen links between professional football clubs and their communities, and will become venues for the clubs’ outreach work.

Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive and Football Foundation Trustee, said: “The Premier League has been banging the drum for sports participation for many years now and it is heartening to see that this issue is moving higher up the political agenda. The Premier League Community Facility Fund is all about providing sports facilities that reinvigorate local communities. So this £18m of funding, which is available to 160 clubs across six tiers of English football, is investment that will have a lasting impact.

The community of North Trafford is the first to benefit from the PLCFF. Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager, unvield the new, full-size floodlit third-generation artificial grass pitch built with the help of a £350,000 grant at Stretford High School.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who opened the new facility at Stretford High School in 1992, added: “On the back of the Olympics, everyone is talking about how sport can improve fitness and keep people active. The great thing about the Premier League is that they have been doing this kind of work for a long time now. They do not get the publicity they deserve and without their funding initiatives like this it would not happen. The Stretford Sports Village is a fantastic facility for young people. Whether the young people who use it ever become a champion or not, play for Manchester United or not, that is not the issue – the thing is they will be enjoying playing sport and they should take great inspiration from it.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“The Football Foundation is very proud to be delivering the PLCFF programme in partnership with the Premier League, which will see £18m invested into developing new grassroots sports facilities and strengthening the link between professional football clubs and their local communities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Premier League for its support for grassroots football over the last 12 years, during which time it has directly invested nearly £200m in the Football Foundation to support projects like this all over the country.”

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London Mayor wants Olympic Stadium to host 2017 Paralympic World Championships

London Mayor Boris Johnson has revealed his intention for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium to host the 2017 Paralympic Athletics World Championships.

If the idea gets the go ahead, it will be the first time both events will be staged in the same event.

As the world’s second largest disabled sports event, the competition would feature up to 1,500 athletes from 100 countries.

A bid is likely to be submitted in the coming weeks and a decision on the 2017 hosts will be made by the International Paralympic Committee this year.