New Changing Facility at Honley Cricket Pavilion is officially unveiled

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A state-of-the-art changing pavilion in Honley was officially opened recently (Sunday 9 July 2017). The project has been successful thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. Thelma Walker, MP for Colne Valley, and Jason McCartney, the former local MP who has been involved in the project since its inception, were also present, as was Felix Eaton of Replan UK Ltd.

The grant enabled vital upgrades to the pavilion, which was originally built in 1893 and had become unsuitable for modern use. The facility now comprises: two team changing rooms; one officials’ changing room; one smaller flexible changing area; a kitchen and bar; a large clubroom and a player’s lounge with viewing balcony.

Honley JFC (HJFC) worked alongside the West Riding FA and the Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on-site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

The pavilion, which is located five miles from Huddersfield Town AFC's home ground, is the base for Honley Cricket Club and HJFC who will both make use of the brand new changing facility. Other users will include: Honley FC; Honley Junior School; Honley High School and Holmfirth Harriers. It is expected that the improvements will increase overall sport participation in the area by 38%.

Honley JFC is hoping that the upgrades made to the ground will help them to create better player pathways, through Mini-Soccer, into their teams. HJFC currently has 12 teams and the club hopes to increase this number to 23, including the introduction of three new girls’ sides. The improved space is expected to double football participation at the site.

The club worked in partnership with the West Riding FA to secure a £53,850 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. They also received funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board, Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund, Kirklees Council, Holme Valley Parish Council and local businesses.

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 565 grants worth £21.1m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £43.2m across the whole of West Riding.

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.

Thelma Walker, MP for Colne Valley, said: “It is excellent to see a top-quality sports facility open in our area. Grassroots sport is vital to communities, providing a way to get people active as well as being a great social outlet!
“I’d like to thank Honley CC and Honley JFC for inviting me to be here and I want to congratulate them on their efforts. This wouldn’t have been possible without the grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which the clubs worked hard to secure.”

Rob Moore, Chairman of Honley Cricket Club, said: “I’d like to thank all of the people who have been involved in this project from the beginning and have helped it come to fruition over the last five years. I’d also like to thank everyone who donated or helped us to raise funds, including the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.”

Jason McCartney, who was the MP for Colne Valley from 2010-2017 and lives locally, said: “I was involved in the project during my time as MP for the area, and I’d like to thank HCC and HJFC for inviting me to be here. This project would not have been possible without the funding and I’d like to congratulate the clubs on their efforts in securing this.”

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 Honley Cricket Club and Honley JFC to upgrade their changing facilities. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area. Thank you to Thelma Walker MP for helping unveil the new facility.

“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn, 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 Honley 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 of it and to stay healthy.”

Click here for more funding information.