Affiliated football teams and leagues using Luton Borough Council football pitches will benefit from brand new 9v9 and 11v11 goalposts across eight sites in Luton.
Bedfordshire FA contributed £4675 towards the project for Luton Borough Council to apply for over £14,000 additional funding from the Football Foundation.
Luton Borough Council were able to replace nineteen pairs of adult 11v11, five junior 11v11 and five 9v9 goalposts. Eight local leagues will have clubs with hundreds of players and officials who will benefit from the weekly use of the park pitches.
Luton Borough Council’s Greenspace Manager Steve Battlebury said “we are tremendously grateful to the Beds FA for their generous support in this practical way. Many of the goals in Luton were reaching the end of their life so this will make a real difference to the teams.”
A Luton Facility working group was put together in 2021 by Chairman of the Bedfordshire FA – Richard Everitt. The group consisted of Bedfordshire FA Council and Staff. A report was produced to outline a review of the existing facilities and to look at a plan of action as a direct result of the Local Football Facility Plan in 2019.
The paper highlighted goalpost replacements, better quality grass pitches, creation of specific hub sites and improved access and enhancements to existing changing rooms as the short- to medium-term plans. The longer-term strategy is to be able to provide facilities for Luton based teams to play at Step 7 hub sites whilst enabling male and female clubs with aspirations of progressing to Step/Tier 6 and Step/Tier 5 the opportunity to do so. The collaboration with Luton Borough Council to deliver the goalpost replacements is a local example of the commitment that organisations such as The FA, Premier League and Government’s Football Foundation are striving to achieve with the award of such a grant.
James Petty, Bedfordshire FA’s Head of Football Development commented ‘’we are delighted to have worked with Luton Borough Council to replace the goalposts and make a big impact with the investment that Football Foundation have provided. It is a positive start as we continue working together to deliver on improvements as highlighted in the Luton report. We would like to place on record our thanks to Luton Borough Council, Football Foundation and MH Goals Ltd for their co-operation in making this happen.’’
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.
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to Luton Borough Council for improving and replacing goalposts on their park pitches is great news for the local community.
“It will support people’s ability to play our national game locally and therefore help unlock football’s many benefits to physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why we’re committed to transforming the face of grassroots football facilities in this country.
“The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners – the Premier League, The FA, government and Sport England to support facility development projects like this across the country over the next decade to transform our grassroots game and unlock the power of pitches.”