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St Helens Borough Council celebrates support to improve grass pitches

St Helens Borough Council has been selected to be a part of an exciting pilot initiative to help improve the quality of grass football pitches across the borough.

Grass pitches

Article date: 23 March 2022

The Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation has announced that St Helens Borough Council is among a number of local authorities to be selected as part of its new grass pitch pilot programme.  This exciting pilot initiative aims to support the improvement of grass pitches in over the next ten years.   

The Football Foundation is the UK's largest sports charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities.   

St Helens Borough Council was selected following a successful Expression of Interest process, in partnership with the Liverpool County FA. 

The Football Foundation will work with the local authority and other local partners to devise a delivery plan and explore funding opportunities to improve well-used pitches across the borough.   

Work is currently underway to prioritise the list of sites for improvement using information from the Local Football Facility Plan (LFFP). The Plans have been created for every area in England. These are the culmination of two years of work with local authorities, County FAs and other stakeholders to identify projects that together represent a blueprint for building what each community needs and deserves.   

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: "It's fantastic that St Helens Borough Council is among other local authorities areas that will benefit from support to improve football pitches in the local area.   

"It's a great opportunity for us to work alongside the likes of the Football Foundation to improve the condition of playing surfaces for our grassroots clubs who play a vital role in getting children young people in our borough active."  

Having launched its 'Power Up Your Grass Pitch' campaign in November last year, the Football Foundation is on a mission to improve over 7,000 grass pitches by 2024 and 20,000 by 2030, to ensure the 12 million grassroots football players across the country have great places to play.   

To help make this ambition a reality, the Football Foundation has developed 'PitchPower' - a free ground-breaking web app that gives every club and organisation the ability to carry out their own grass pitch inspection. Once submitted, organisations will receive an assessment report with bespoke recommendations and advice from the experts at the Grounds Management Association (GMA) on how to improve their pitches.  

This report also serves as a gateway to access Football Foundation funding to support pitch improvements.