People living in Bexley/Dartford are set to benefit from fresh investment into local football facilities. Bexley Park Sports & Social Club Limited and Parkwood Rangers FC have been awarded a grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, to upgrade their playing facilities.
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities.
Grassroots football matches and training have been massively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. It has only just restarted following government advice with restrictions in place at all clubs. This funding is great news for local football in the meantime and will be a welcome boost to everyone.
This grant will enable Bexley Park Sports & Social Club Limited and Parkwood Rangers FC players to enjoy a new 100m x 64m Floodlit 3G Artificial Grass Pitch, which will represent a significant improvement to the existing facilities, which currently has not got enough pitches to cater for the sport requirements and is often prevented from playing due to weather restrictions.
Parkwood Rangers FC worked with the Football Foundation and the London FA to secure a £871,254 grant towards the project and this new pitch will enable more than 300 football players the chance to play football each week.
The club plays at Step 6 football for kids; boys and girls regardless of ability aged from six to 21 in the Selkent League, Kent Youth and Kent Girls/Ladies Football League. Parkwood also provide football for adult men who play in Kent County Football League and adult ladies who play in London and South East Regional Women’s Football League, as well as an over-35 Vets team who play in the Southern Veterans League.
Gareth Johnson, Local MP said: “This is great news for the local area. I am looking forward to visiting the football club in the forthcoming weeks to discuss the funding and the club’s future plans”.
Paul Bickerton, Chief Executive Officer London FA said: “At London FA we’re absolutely delighted that Parkwood have been successful in their facility grant application to the Football Foundation. Parkwood are one of our most pro-active clubs and we know how important a high-quality facility is to providing a positive experience for everyone involved in a football club. This investment will have a significant impact not just those playing football at Parkwood but the local community as a whole.”
Paul Hewagama, Bexley Park Sports and Social Club Chairman said: “At Bexley Park we currently have limited playing availability with our grass pitches. The Football Foundation grant towards the building of the 3G Artificial Grass Pitch will greatly increase the capacity for boys and girls from within the community to use the facilities which will be a great asset to all going forward. At the same time, this will give us the opportunity to continually improve the condition of our pitches for all to enjoy. We look forward to the start of the project, the final completion, in time and within budget. I would also like to thank everyone for their time and effort that have been involved in the project and finally being able to bring it to fruition after all these years of hard work.”
Andrew Morton, Parkwood Rangers Ladies Secretary said: “On behalf of all connected with the ladies team, we want to say what great news! This will enhance the female game over the next few years. The Ladies team are currently celebrating their tenth anniversary as an adult team and their management team are marking 20 years with the club. I cannot think of a better tribute for these milestones than providing the ladies a "new home" and modern training facilities. A big thank you to the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England and those who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make the 3G pitch project a reality.
The acquisition of the 3G pitch, will allow the club to grow even more and let Parkwood Rangers deliver new projects which will benefit both the local and football community as a whole, spanning across all ages in both the male and female game. Parkwood Rangers FC is one big family and a club that I am proud to be associated with."
Doug Scott, Parkwood Rangers Adult secretary said: “As someone who has been involved with Parkwood since the early days of a few dads, children from the same school and class, the achievement of receiving the go ahead for such an amazing 3G playing surface is something we as a club could only have dreamed of some 20 years ago - the hard work of many has paid off and we now look forward to giving our community and club members the facilities they truly deserve. A massive thank you to Dartford Borough Council, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England, and of course those on the committee at Bexley Sports and Social club, amongst others.
David West, Parkwood Rangers Child welfare officer said: “Parkwood is a family club at the heart of the Bexley community, run extremely professionally by a group of committed volunteers. At the heart of our core values is to provide excellent, safe facilities for kids to come and enjoy grassroots football. Having this 3G pitch built will enable us to continue to provide first class facilities to the community and let a new generation of kids experience the magic of Parkwood Rangers FC. On behalf of all the young players at Parkwood. THANK YOU to the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sports England.
Roberto Salvati, Parkwood Rangers Club Chairman said: “I am so pleased to announce the opening of Parkwood Ranger’s 3G pitch. We are all volunteers, and it has been a long journey to achieve this goal of ours, but the hard work has paid off. I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in the project. This 3G pitch is needed for our local community, allowing children from all backgrounds to learn and develop their football skills. A final thank you to the Football Foundation, the FA, the Premier League, the London FA and Sports England for helping us achieve our project.
Carl Ringshall, Parkwood Rangers Vets secretary said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a real grass-roots football club to provide excellent facilities for kids and adults of all ages to develop their talents and skills. This is a club which is run by dedicated individuals that care and our goal is to not only support the club but offer the local community a chance to get involved and use first class facilities which will bring everyone together and promote the family values that we try to promote. Thank you to the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sports England.
Gavin Davies, Parkwood Rangers Club Secretary said: “I cant believe it! We have been working on this project for three years. This is truly amazing for our football club, the whole club is run by volunteers. The introduction of a 3G pitch is a much needed facility for the whole club and will benefit the local community. We would like to thank our partners at the football foundation, Sports England, Government, The FA and Premier League“
Robert Sullivan, Interim Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “We know the huge benefits playing regular football can have on individuals’ physical and mental well-being. That’s why we’re committed to transforming the face of grassroots football facilities in this country. It’s therefore very welcome news to hear that this funding will support Bexley Park Sports & Social Club Limited and Parkwood Rangers FC in developing a new 100m x 64m Floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitch for their local community.
“Working with our partners – the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sports England – we will be investing in over £1bn worth of local facilities across the country over the next decade. We believe we can transform lives and strengthen communities by unlocking the power of pitches and this is another project that brings us closer to that ultimate goal.”