A new state-of-the-art facility is aiming to be on the ball when it comes to producing the next generation of potential football stars.
The new £538,535 football facility has been officially opened by Northumberland County Council and Blyth Spartans Juniors FC on the former Wensleydale Middle School site in Blyth.
The council, which contributed £440,561 to the project, has been working with the Northumberland FA to secure additional funds from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund.
Among the features at the new facility are a changing pavilion including team changing rooms, a kitchen, officials changing room, toilets, storage and three newly drained and resurfaced real grass pitches.
The new pitches will provide a home for Blyth Spartans Junior Football Club who currently have five junior teams and the new facility will enable the club to increase the number of teams it has.
Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are delighted to support such a fantastic project with a contribution of £440,561.
Blyth Spartans are synonymous with the Town’s heritage and we hope this investment will help encourage more young people to take up football and go on to wear the senior team’s legendary green and white coloursCoun Val Tyler
“Blyth Spartans are synonymous with the Town’s heritage and we hope this investment will help encourage more young people to take up football and go on to wear the senior team’s legendary green and white colours.”
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Northumberland County Council to develop a new changing pavilion and grass pitches in Blyth.
“This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.
“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part.
“This latest project in Blyth is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love if it and to stay healthy.”
The funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund – which is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity – made the build project possible.
For full information, please visit www.activenorthumberland.org.uk
If you want to get back into sport or try a new sporting activity in Northumberland, please visit www.northumberlandsport.co.uk