What a result: FA part fund £1m football pitch in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 15:51 07 December 2018

Irfan Shah, manager of the Frenford Youth Club

Irfan Shah, manager of the Frenford Youth Club


A £1million football pitch is being built in Ilford.

Work will begin in 2019 in The Drive, after the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund awarded Frenford Clubs a grant.

The pitch will be created with third generation artificial grass and will enable Frenford Clubs, who play at Step 6 in the Eastern Senior league, to continue its development towards becoming a Step 5 club.

The new all-weather pitch will be installed with floodlights and will replace an existing pitch which was unsuitable due to inadequate drainage and waterlogging during winter months.

Other groups in the community will also be able to make use of it.

Irfan Shah, manager of Frenford Clubs, said: “There are now over 4,000 people attending the club taking part in a wide variety of sporting activity of which football is our most popular.

“This new facility will help support our ever-growing grassroots and community football sessions which aim to make the game as accessible as possible to all.

“It will also support the large number of football teams the club will seek to develop into the future and provide inclusive recreational and team-based opportunities for women, girls and disabled participants.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities gave £595,214 towards the project and the rest of the money was donated by The Jack Petchey Foundation, the Garfield Western Foundation, The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and an extremely significant pledge from The London Marathon Charitable Trust as well as Frenford Clubs reserves.

“We are very grateful for the support we have received,” he added.

“I would also like to thank Cranbrook Primary School, the local Authority and children services who have agreed to allow us to use a small section of the school field for construction of the pitch in return for Cranbrook Primary School using the new facility.

“The final hurdle before construction can begin is a lease for the remaining land we require from the school. The council is currently putting together a lease document and application to the Secretary of State to grant permission for Frenford to use this piece of land.”

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 391 grants worth £16m across Essex and London towards grassroots sports projects worth £29.6m and it is great to hear that Frenford Clubs will be the latest beneficiary.

“Funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Foundation, will support the club in developing a brand-new facility for the local community,” he said.

“Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Fund is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country.”

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