£400k grant to transform South Norfolk town’s football future

PUBLISHED: 07:21 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 07:43 13 April 2018

The 3G pitch at Long Stratton. Picture provided by South Norfolk Council.

The 3G pitch at Long Stratton. Picture provided by South Norfolk Council.

South Norfolk Council

A grant of nearly £400,000 from The Premier League and FA Facilities Fund will transform the footballing fare of a South Norfolk town, according to a children’s team chairman.

Kett’s Park in Wymondham will reap the benefits of the £394,292 given to South Norfolk Council, which will go towards a £1.2m improvement project.

The grant will also be used to improve Kett’s Park grass pitch complex that along with other grass pitches in the town and surrounding area are prone to waterlogging, resulting in lost games and frustrated footballers.

Phil Godfrey, 38, chairman of Wymondham Town United Football Club said: “The club will significantly benefit from this and it will encourage more children to learn football here.

“In Wymondham I think we have had to cancel around 70 games over the winter due to wet pitches, and many of the team have not been able to train in Kett’s Park since November.

“We often have to travel to Norwich to practice, so the new facilities will obviously help with out training and will be a massive benefit for us.”

The club has 280 children aged from five to 18 in 16 teams, and travelling from Wymondham to Sprowston, Bowthorpe or UEA to practice is an especial issue for families without a car.

Mr Godfrey said: “Some children have to carshare, and a lot of teenagers who have to make their own way just can’t get there.

“The pitches aren’t really fit for purpose anymore.”

The new facility will comprise of a full size, floodlit, fenced all weather 3G facility with spectator viewing attached to an existing sports community pavilion and changing rooms.

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This project, in Wymondham, will have a great impact on the local community by opening up access to our national game and improving the quality of sporting experience they enjoy at the enhanced facilities.

“It has been made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England.”

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

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