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Online Feature

15 years of developing the most effective and efficient facilities investment systems By Niall Malone

The Football Foundation was conceived by the Premier League, The FA and the Government in 2000 to improve grassroots facilities, and to get more people playing our national game. Since then we have awarded grants worth £513m and multiplied our Funding Partners’ investment by attracting an additional £730m in partnership funding, which means more than £1.2bn has been invested into the grassroots game.

Part of this cash injection has resulted in the development of 500 of the country’s 639 third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches. That might look like an impressive number but when you compare it to the 3,735 3G pitches in Germany, it only serves as an indication of how much more work needs to be done.

Bridging that gap will take time and money, but the Foundation has developed the facility delivery systems which can achieve this. The systems are cost effective and produce results quickly, so much so that other organisations, including Barclays and the Mayor of London/Greater London Authority, have now also partnered with us to deliver their investment programmes.

The four pillars that the Foundation has built its success on are: experienced staff; effective processes; targeted investment and robust monitoring and evaluation. The marriage of these themes meant that in the last financial year, at sites delivered by the Football Foundation, there was:

• 11% growth in the number of people who played football.

• 25.8% growth in the number of people who played multi-sport.

• 700,206 people played sport.

• 24,942,136 hours of sporting activity.

• 24,942,136 hours of sporting activity.

• 6,071 new female footballers were created thanks to the Grow the Game Scheme.

• 23,558 coaching qualifications gained at sites delivered by the Foundation.

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