GRASSROOTS sports in Sunderland have benefitted from a whopping £4million of cash injections from a football charity in the last few years.
The figures were released as the Football Foundation announced reaching the landmark of £1billion-worth of investment nationwide.
The foundation has given 237 grants to facilities across the city, which were used to attract an additional £8.3million in partnership funding, since its launch in 2000.
A spokesman for the foundation said: “The foundation prides itself on the monitoring and evaluation work which is used to measure and evaluate the performance of projects that it has funded.
“We also support projects long after the grant has been awarded, and that continued support helps ensure that projects it funds achieve the best possible sustainable outcomes, whilst enabling it to demonstrate the impact that has been made as a result of foundation funding.”
One of the projects supported by the foundation is the 3G floodlit artificial grass pitch, opened in 2011 at Farringdon Community Sports College.
The £530,595 pitch at the Allendale Road facility was supported with was helped along by a £94,594 grant from the charity, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the government.
The foundation has also part-funded the creation of top class changing facilities at two of the city’s sporting venues – the Northern Area Playing Fields in Washington and the Billy Hardy Sports Complex in Castletown.
Almost one million pounds were be invested in the developments which include changing rooms, toilets, disabled access, and facilities for use by community groups.
Sunderland City Council worked in partnership with the Durham FA to secure a £200,000 grant towards the Northern Area Playing Fields project from the Football Foundation
Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has funded 12,007 projects with grants worth £473m, which it has used to attract a further £732m in additional partnership funding – £1.205bn of investment into the grassroots game.
The Foundation’s grassroots facilities investment has helped to develop 819 changing facilities, 2,474 real grass pitches, 469 artificial grass pitches and 90 multi-use games areas.