BLOG: Mayor Joe Anderson on investment in grassroots football
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Mayor Joe Anderson on why the city is investing £17 million in grassroots football in Liverpool to nurture the stars of the future
We don’t all agree of the colour of the shirts, but one thing all Liverpudlians can agree on is the importance of football to our city.
Our proud heritage as not only a national, but international centre of excellence has been well-earned.
But future success comes at a price. Put bluntly, you only reap what you sow.
That’s why I am so proud to have successfully negotiated a £17 million investment boost for grassroots football facilities, in partnership with the Football Association and County FA and Sport England.
This is the biggest investment of its kind ever made and will see the creation of four football hubs across the city, complementing the work we have been doing in recent years to `improve facilities across Liverpool.
A new Football Trust will oversee the management of the hubs, which will based at:
Jeffrey Humble Playing Field (Fazakerley)
Heron Eccles Playing Field (Allerton)
Jericho Lane Playing Field (Otterspool)
Simpson Road (Woolton)
Football, unsurprisingly, is the city’s number one participation sport, with more than 1,200 teams (60% of which are youth teams) – and it is estimated that half a million people take part in games each year.
This comes on top of the commitment the City Council has made in recent years. In total, we have already invested £9.2 million in football provision across the city, with £7.8 million of that delivered in the north of the city. This includes:
Gateacre School: £650k for a new 3G pitch
Wavertree: £350k for a new 3G pitch
Broadgreen School: £345k for a new 3G pitchSt John Bosco (Croxteth) £1m for new 3G pitch and ancillary facilities
Carr Lane East (Croxteth): £1.5m for new grass pitches and changing pavilion
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: £2.2m for new 3G pitch and ancillary facilities
Walton Hall Park: £350k for a new 3G pitch with the County FA
Jeffery Humble Playing Field: £850k for new changing pavilion
Bill Shankly Playing Field: £800k for a new changing pavilion
EFC Community Hub: £820k for new community facility
Archbishop Beck School: £350k for adaptations to sports hall to accommodate disability football
This shows mine and the council’s determination to support the County FA and local clubs nurture and grow the stars of the future, as well as providing facilities that all people across the city – regardless of their income or ability – can use and enjoy.
I know that some residents will be concerned about traffic and light coming from the new facilities and they will have a chance to have their say as part of the planning process. Ultimately these hubs are about radically improving existing facilities rather than adding capacity.
But I can assure them that the Heron Eccles scheme, for example, will include a new 200 space car park and light mitigation and I am happy to come and meet with them and explain the proposals in more detail.