Football Foundation News

Roundwood Park School delighted to announce funding for new all-weather pitch

The brand new facility will replace the existing grass pitch which is unusable during the winter months, due to the effects of the cold weather. The new floodlit all-weather pitch will be available to the community all-year – round.​

Grassroots sport in Hertfordshire is set to benefit from a major cash injection following the news that Roundwood Park School, in partnership with Harpenden Colts FC, have been awarded a generous grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. 

The grant will enable the school to replace an existing grass pitch, which is unusable during the winter months, with a brand new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) that can be used all-year-round. This is expected to boost overall football participation at the facility by 217%. 

This will provide the school and its partner club with a state-of-the-art facility, benefitting players and pupils alike. Many of the school’s students play for the Colts, which currently has 60 teams across eight different sites. The brand new 3G AGP will enable the club to play at one facility, and introduce new teams. 

The new teams will include an Under-12 and an Under-16 disability side. The Colts already offer an inclusive football programme, supported by the Watford FC Community Trust, and hope to build on this to make football in the area more accessible. 

Watford FC Community Trust will also be delivering weekly community outreach programmes at the new facility, including disability and female football sessions. This, in addition to the five new girls’ teams planned by the Harpenden Colts, means an increase of 203% is expected for overall female football participation at the site. 

Roundwood Park School and Harpenden Colts FC worked alongside the Hertfordshire FA to secure a grant of £500,000 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Other funding will be contributed by the club and school themselves. 

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth nearly £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of just under £800m – over £1.4bn 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. 

Alan Henshall, Roundwood Park School Headteacher, said: “We are delighted we have received such a significant investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund in our school facilities. This pitch will benefit our students and the whole community by giving them a much needed facility in the town to promote a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. ”

Ian Holden, Harpenden Colts Chairman, said: “This is wonderful news and will transform the provision of sport in Harpenden creating opportunities for all ages to get active throughout the year whatever the weather. As a club we are proud to have been part of bringing this facility to Harpenden and we would particularly like to thank our partners, Roundwood Park School and Hertfordshire FA, for both their vision and commitment to bring us to this point. As a club we can now plan for the future with the guarantee of a state of the art facility available to us on our doorstep.”

Moira Hart, Chair of Governors for Roundwood Park School, said: “The Governing Board is thrilled to have played a part in securing a world class resource for the school and local community. We are sure that it will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of so many students in our school. Now it is all about stepping up and participating in raising the money for this exciting project.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “It is fantastic news for Roundwood Park School and Harpenden Colts FC to have been awarded a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund to install a new 3G AGP. 

“Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded 191 grants worth £10.8m across Hertfordshire towards grassroots sports projects worth over £19.4m. This latest project, in Harpenden, 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.”

For more information, please contact:
– Tony Smith on 01582 714 007 or at t.smith@roundwoodpark.co.uk
– Sophie Huby on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or at sophie.huby@footballfoundation.org.uk