Image demonstrating Funding secured to improve football pitches across Northumberland 

Funding secured to improve football pitches across Northumberland 

Twenty-three football clubs across Northumberland are benefitting from Football Foundation funding to improve the quality of their pitches. 

£453,877 of grant has come into the county from the Football Foundation and is being used to help eligible organisations to enhance or sustain the quality of their grass pitches. 

The funding has been awarded through the Football Foundation Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund following the completion of pitch inspections using Pitch Power – this is the Football Foundation’s specially developed digital pitch inspection technology which is used for assessing and grading the quality of grass football pitches. 

As part of a wider aim, The Football Foundation wants to help create 5,000 good quality grass pitches before the end of 2024 and 20,000 ‘good’ quality grass pitches by 2030 

Across Northumberland, 77 pitches were assessed using Pitch Power of which 57 received a good or advanced Pitch Quality score. 
Others however are in poorer condition, and in some cases, this makes them unplayable, especially during the severe wet weather. The Met Office has reported that the past 18 months are the wettest since records began in 1836.
Clubs who have completed a Pitch Power inspection have then been provided a bespoke maintenance programme for their site and received funding – tapered over a six-year period to ensure long term and lasting results. 
Northumberland County Councillor Jeff Watson, cabinet member for Promoting Health Lives said: 
“Access to high quality pitches for training and matches is key to enjoying the sport, especially during the winter months. However, many grassroots football clubs tell us that poor grass pitches are their biggest issue with some becoming waterlogged and unplayable, meaning matches are postponed. 
“The county council has been working closely with the Football Foundation and local clubs to ensure Northumberland gets the maximum funding and that it is directed to the right places. We are very grateful for this investment.” 
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and aims to improve the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities. 
Northumberland FA head of business development Helen Beales said: 
“Improving football facilities is a vital part of our work, providing safe, good quality pitches for all our grassroots football community to enjoy.” 
“The investment into Northumberland will help provide excellent pitches for our local teams to play and supporters to enjoy.” 
Clubs that have received funding are: 
Allendale Juniors 
Alnwick Town Juniors 
Amble AFC 
Berwick Rangers Community Academy 
Blyth Spartans Juniors 
Blyth Town FC 
Cramlington Juniors (Ann Welfare) 
Cramlington Juniors (Kramal) 
Cramlington Town FC 
Cramlington United Juniors (Northburn) 
Ellington Juniors FC 
Haydon Bridge United FC 
Heddon United 
AFC Newbiggin 
Longhougton Rangers Juniors 
North Sunderland FC 
Ponteland United FC (Middle School) 
Prudhoe Youth FC (Eastwoods Park) 
Rothbury FC 
Seaton Delaval FC 
Stobswood Miners Welfare 
Tweedmouth Rangers FC 
Wallington FC 
Wylam Rockets FC 
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