Work to start on new Council-backed sports facilities at County Ground
Swindon Town legend John Trollope and the High Sherriff of Wiltshire Nicky Alberry broke ground on where state-of-the-art sports facilities will be built at the County Ground.Published: Thursday, 31st January 2019
The £2.4 million full size artificial pitch and sports pavilion will enable Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust (STFITC) and the Swindon Harriers Athletics Club to further expand and enhance the projects and programmes that are enjoyed by thousands of participants. The Trust delivers to a wide range of Swindon people from two to 85 years of age in sessions not solely football focussed, but also tackling issues relating to health, social inclusion, education and sports participation. The new facility in central Swindon will allow existing and new participants the opportunity to access these projects and programmes, enhancing and benefitting the community’s health and well-being.
STFITC Trust’s Head of Trust, Jon Holloway, said: “This is a momentous day for everyone that has been involved in this project. It has taken many years and a considerable amount of hard work to get to this stage. The long term vision and dream of creating a state of the art community facility in the heart of Swindon will start taking shape. This is the biggest day in the Football in the Community Trust’s history as this new facility will benefit thousands of local people. We would like to sincerely thank all our funders, partners, sponsors, supporters and participants who have played their part in helping us get to this stage. We look forward to creating a facility that the people of Swindon can be proud of.”
Construction of the all weather pitch and pavilion is due to begin in early February, and the hope is that the local community will be benefitting from the provision of this new facility by the summer, ahead of the Trust and Swindon Harriers moving into their new home later in the year.
This project has been developed in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Property Services, said: “This facility will be a fantastic asset to the local community and it is incredibly exciting that building work is now about to start.
“What makes this project so exciting is that it will benefit people of all ages, from grass roots sports to health and wellbeing programmes aimed at older members of the community. It will also provide a great boost to Swindon Harriers Athletics Club who will have a new base from which to grow and encourage even more people to take up sport.”
Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust has worked with the Football Foundation and Swindon Borough Council to secure a grant of £1,000,000 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Since 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded 166 grants worth £6m across Wiltshire towards grassroots sports projects worth £22.8m and it is great to hear that Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust will be the latest beneficiary.
“Funding from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Foundation, will support the club in developing a brand new facility for the local community. 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.”