Posted: Wed, 6 Dec 2023 10:30
New £30 million fund to deliver approximately 30 new facilities to support more women and girls into grassroots sport.
Thousands of women and girls across England are set to benefit from a substantial £30 million cash injection from the Government and The Football Association (FA) to turbocharge the development opportunities for the next generation of Lionesses.
Following their triumph at UEFA EURO 2022 and their run to the final of FIFA World Cup 2023, the Government has announced an additional £30 million that will build approximately 30 new state-of-the-art 3G pitches and accompanying facilities. These sites will be designed to prioritise women's and girls' teams across England. They will be delivered by the Government, the Premier League and The FA's Football Foundation.
Reserved peak-time slots, women and girls only evenings and priority booking for women's and girls' teams will be introduced at every one of these sites to drive up participation and support the demand to play whatever the motivation. The facilities will provide dedicated female changing rooms, shower facilities and accessible toilets.
The Government is providing £25 million funding, with The FA contributing £5 million, to further cement the Lionesses and Government's shared target of inspiring more women and girls to get into sport and physical activity. The Government recently published its new sport strategy which set out its ambitious aim to get 2.5 million more adults and 1 million more children active by 2030. Former Lioness Jill Scott sits on the National Physical Activity Taskforce to advise the Government on how to achieve this ambition.
Today's funding uplift comes on top of the Government's existing investment of more than £400 million in grassroots sports across the UK. Alongside investments in park tennis courts and swimming pools, the multi-sport grassroots facilities programme - which has so far delivered upgrades to 2,200 different facilities - requires 40% of funding goes to supporting participation by under-represented groups, such as women and girls and those with disabilities.
The new Lionesses Futures Fund builds upon that commitment, with the Football Foundation building on its existing pipeline in 2024/25 to invest in 30 new state-of-the art artificial grass pitches.
FA CEO Mark Bullingham said:
We are delighted to work alongside DCMS to commit this funding to the Football Foundation as it will make a tangible difference to women's and girls' football. The biggest obstacle to participation is access to pitches and this investment will provide high quality facilities in communities across the country that need them the most.
Following the Lionesses winning the UEFA EURO 2022 tournament, the Government, Premier League and The FA announced they would honour their achievement by naming 23 grassroots facilities delivered by the Football Foundation across the country after the entire Lioness squad. Former Lioness Jill Scott and current squad members Ella Toone and Rachel Daly have so far had sites named in their honour in Newcastle, Wigan and Harrogate.
Source & Image: GOV.UK