*Shared in partnership with the Premier League's Football Stadia Improvement Fund*
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, officially opened Coalville Town FC’s brand new changing pavilion yesterday (Wednesday 8 November), made possible by a grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) – the largest funders of non-league football in the country.
The funding, boosted by a further grant from North West Leicestershire District Council, has enabled the club to build a brand new changing pavilion, which comprises: two changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms; office space; a treatment room; a social area; a kitchen, and spectator toilets with external access – in line with the FA National Ground Grading Criteria (FANGGC).
The club have been using the Owen Street Recreation Ground, which has two full-size pitches, two junior pitches and two Mini-Soccer pitches, since 1995 and are delighted with the state-of-the-art new facility. The pavilion will be used by the club’s first team, which plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, other senior teams and its ladies’ sides.
Coalville Town FC’s existing changing pavilion, which was built more than 20 years ago, does not meet the FA National Ground Grading Criteria requirements for the club’s Step 3 position. However, this facility has been retained and will be used by the club’s junior teams, allowing them to use the site at the same time as senior teams.
This offers the club more flexibility, as well as enabling it to provide players with a more comfortable experience. Coalville Town FC hopes that this will help them to attract more players and retain existing ones, as well as encourage people to get involved in the game locally.
The project was made possible thanks to a £149,999 grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country. Through its Coalville Special Expenses fund, North West Leicestershire District Council also gave £115,563 towards the project.
Funded with £6.5m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation – is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “I’d like to thank Coalville Town FC for inviting me to do the honours and officially unveil their new changing pavilion. This is a wonderful addition to the Owen Street Recreation Ground, and it’s great to hear that it will improve the experience for the club’s players.
“Coalville Town FC is a major part of the local area, and I’m delighted that they have been able to benefit from the Premier League’s investment. It’s great to see money from the top of the game being used to improve facilities in our community.”
Glyn Rennocks, Chairman of Coalville Town FC, said: “The grant from the FSIF along with further grants from the North West Leicestershire District Council enabled us to complete a long standing ambition of building new and modern facilities that comply with all current requirements and regulations that we are all very proud of.”
Cllr. Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “Huge congratulations to Coalville Town FC on the unveiling of this fantastic new facility. The council’s funding shows the commitment to our Choose Coalville project, which is aiming to regenerate and build confidence in the town. This facility will benefit the club and the town long into the future and it’s great to see it officially open.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “I am very pleased to hear that investment from the Premier League has helped Coalville Town FC to build a new changing pavilion. This will allow them to offer their players a more comfortable environment and help inspire love of the game. My thanks go to Andrew Bridgen MP for taking the time to unveil the new facility.
“The Football Stadia Improvement Fund channels money from the Premier League into improving stadia for lower league clubs across the country. Coalville Town FC’s new pavilion is just one example of how this investment is improving provision for players and fans.”