New football facility to open at Desborough

A new state-of-the-art £70,000 football facility is set to open in Desborough thanks to a £17,579 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The opening will take place on Saturday 10 May at Desborough Leisure Centre, and will include; Desborough Town Juniors World Cup Tournament; sport themed taster sessions for all ages and abilities and a raffle and prize draw for all attendees.

The new facility comprises of two grass pitches, training areas and changing facilities located by the pitches. The upgrade will enable Desborough Town Junior Football Club, Parkwood Leisure Limited and Kettering Borough Council to develop football for Under-7’s upwards.

Desborough Town Juniors Football Club, Kettering Borough Council, Northamptonshire Football Association and the Football Foundation are pleased to announce the completion of the pitch development at the New Desborough Leisure Centre in Ironwood Road Desborough. All parties have been working together over several years to build a football facility for Desborough and the juniors club. Following a successful football foundation application, the town has a new 9v9 pitch and a full size pitch allowing the club to grow within a rapidly expanding town with more housing at the Grange development.

The grassed pitches and changing accommodation totalling £70,000 included a grant of £17,579 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, £5,000 from Desborough Town Junior Football Club; the remainder was funded by Kettering Borough Council. The facility is managed by Parkwood Leisure on behalf of Kettering Borough Council. Phase 1 of the Leisure Centre was funded entirely through s106 contributions. It is another example of how Kettering Borough Council is ensuring that there are tangible benefits to the community from planned, responsible growth as well as how the Council can lever in additional funding for the community.
The temporary changing facilities have been provided until Phase 2 of the new leisure centre may be delivered. Phase 2 includes external changing accommodation, squash courts and a flexible use room.

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 12,000 grants worth more than £490m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £651m – over £1bn of investment into the grassroots game.

By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game.

Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.

Since 2000 the Football Foundation funding partners’ investment has provided 93 grants worth £5.5m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £10m across the whole of Northamptonshire.

Guy Holloway, Head of Corporate Development at Kettering Borough Council, said:
“Desborough Town Junior Football Club, Kettering Borough Council and Parkwood Leisure worked together in achieving the provision of pitches and changing accommodation. This is a great achievement.  It is also important that we acknowledge the great work of the Football Foundation who will assist with football delivery in Desborough.”

Councillor Jan Smith, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “This event really is fantastic! We are always looking for ways to promote sport in the Borough of Kettering. The grassed pitches and changing accommodation have provided quality sports facilities that will help young footballers in Desborough.”

Steve Perry Chairman of Desborough Town Juniors Football Club, said: “What we have shown at the Leisure Centre is the great things that can be achieved by the council and club working closely together. We now have one of the best facilities in the junior league that will allow us to plan and grow for the next generation of children of Desborough.”

Mat Tilley, General Manager from Parkwood Leisure’s Kettering Contract, said: “Being awarded funding through the Football Foundation has been a fantastic achievement for everyone involved. Desborough Leisure Centre and Desborough Town Juniors are very proud to be the home venue for football facilities of such an excellent standard. The World Cup Tournament looks to be a great success and I look forward to continue working with Stephen Perry and the team at Kettering Borough Council on all future projects”.