Grassroots football

The Premier League, The FA, the Government and Sport England have come together through their Football Foundation to launch the new ‘Pitch Preparation Fund’. Almost GBP 10 million is available to assist clubs and organisations to get their natural and artificial grass pitches ready for when the Government advice allows football to start being played again.

Every applicant must be a club or organisation with a minimum of 12 months’ security of tenure over the pitches they wish to improve by freehold, leasehold or licence, and have the legal responsibility for maintaining them.

Check out the full eligibility criteria below.

Who is eligible?

  • Grassroots football clubs (including Step 7)
  • FA National League System clubs (from Steps 1 to 6)
  • FA Women’s Pyramid clubs (Tier 1-5)
  • County FAs
  • Professional Club Community Trusts
  • Leisure Trusts (with an annual turnover of less than 500k)
  • Welsh Premier League clubs

Who is not eligible?

  • Clubs and Organisations without a suitable security of tenure
  • Clubs and Organisations that do not maintain their own pitches
  • Education establishments
  • Local Authorities
  • Town and Parish Councils
  • Leisure Trusts with an annual turnover of more than £500k
  • Clubs and Organisations that had already received a grant via the Sport England Community Emergency Fund towards pitch maintenance works
  • Clubs and Organisations that have recently received an ‘Enhanced Grass Pitch Maintenance’ grant from the Football Foundation (unless the First Team pitch had been excluded from the application)

About the Fund

Should you have confirmed that your are eligibility, it’s now time to find out how much you can apply for and what the money can be used for. The Football Foundation has broken it down for you below.

How much can you apply for?

Maximum grant value for Stadium Pitch
National League System Clubs (Step 1-6) Up to £1,500
FA Women’s Pyramid (Tier 1-5) Up to £1,500
Welsh Cymru Premier League Up to £1,500
Maximum grant value
Eligible affiliated Grassroots Clubs and Organisations (including step 7) that maintain:
One full-size pitch (or equivalent*) Up to £1,500
Two to three full-size pitches (or equivalent*) Up to £2,500
Four or more full-size pitches (or equivalent*) Up to £5,000
*A full size equivalent pitch includes all 11v11 and 9v9 pitches. A Mini Soccer pitch counts as 0.5 pitches

 

What can the grant be spent on?

Funding is available to help cover the costs of:

  • Aeration
  • Chain harrowing
  • Consumable materials
  • Fertilising
  • Flail mowing
  • Grass cutting
  • Line marking
  • Over seeding
  • Turfing
  • Weed killing
  • Vertical Decompaction

For 3G pitches it can also be used for;

  • Deep cleaning
  • FA Pitch Testing
  • Maintenance

Any work that has been completed since The FA suspended football on the 16 March 2020 is eligible to be funded.

Are there any other conditions to the grant?

The Football Foundation just asks that clubs provide evidence to demonstrate that their grant is going to be used towards their pitch preparation works – with auditing undertaken before 31 December 2020. In addition, they will ask you to carry out a digital assessment of your pitches using our ‘PitchPower’ app to better understand the quality of your playing surface.

How do you apply?

All decisions regarding the funding will be communicated by June 8.

If you have any other questions, please first refer to our FAQ section below and if your question still hasn’t been answered, email us at pitchprep@footballfoundation.org.uk

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