Delight as club awarded more than £800,000 grant towards a new 3G artificial grass football pitch for Saffron Walden after years of lobbying and work

PUBLISHED: 10:50 14 August 2020

The site in Saffron Walden for the 3G artificial grass pitch.

The site in Saffron Walden for the 3G artificial grass pitch.

Club Secretary - Saffron Walden Community FC Matt Clare

More than £800,000 has been awarded towards a £1m project to build a new 3G artificial grass football pitch at Saffron Walden County High School.

More than £800,000 has been awarded towards a £1m project to build a new 3G artificial grass football pitch at Saffron Walden County High School.

And now the organisations involved need help to raise the remaining £182,725 to meet their goal.

Saffron Walden County High School in partnership with Saffron Walden Community Youth Football Club and Saffron Walden PSG FC, have been awarded the grant from the Premier League, the FA and the Government’s The Football Foundation.

They worked with The Football Foundation and Essex County FA to secure the £817,275 grant.

The new pitch will allow 700 youngsters to play football each week on high quality pitches, instead of the existing grass pitches which are prone to waterlogging.

The remainder of the money needed is being raised by the two clubs.

Matt Clare, Saffron Walden CFC secretary said: “This is a milestone moment for youth football in Saffron Walden, and is the culmination of nearly 10 years of lobbying and two years of community fundraising.

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“Uttlesford is the only district in Essex with no 3G facility. We still have much work to do, but we now know we can confidently announce that our #MyCommunity3G project will soon be realised thanks to this incredible grant.”

Caroline Derbyshire, Saffron Walden County High School executive headteacher said: “Everyone at SWCHS is delighted that this inspiring project can now happen as a consequence of achieving this grant in partnership with SWCFC and SWPSG FC.

“The new 3G pitch will be a tremendous facility for the Saffron Walden community and a huge boost to football at the school, and local primary schools through the Uttlesford School Sports Partnership.”

Uttlesford District Council has not made a formal decision on whether to provide funding.

A council spokesperson said: “Had the pandemic not occurred it is likely that a report recommending funding would have come before the council and it is still possible that, subject to any further financial impact from Covid, funding may be provided should members vote to support it in due course.

“It should be remembered that Uttlesford District Council covers a large geographical area and therefore consideration needs to be given to future sporting facilities across the district so that all of our residents can benefit.”

Andrew Heinrich, coach of one of the teams at Saffron Walden’s girls football club, said his team has launched a summer treasure hunt to encourage people to fundraise.

Entry forms are available from Saffron Walden’s Tourist Information Office or at psgfc.co.uk and cost £6 per car regardless of how many people are part of a team.

The event is running until the end of September, when there will be a prize draw. Prizes include items from Saffron Sports, Saffron Ice Cream and Joseph Barnes Wines.

The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football, by championining fair access to quality facilities.


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