Pannal Sports JFC - Work Starts on New Ground

Pannal Sports JFC’s long held dream soon to become reality

Pannal Sports JFC’s long held dream of having a place to call home is now a major step closer with work to build the pitches having started recently. Located on Leeds Road opposite the Mercedes-Benz dealership between Harrogate and Pannal Village, the 13 acre site will ultimately accommodate 8 football pitches of differing sizes, a changing pavilion, kitchen, function room and parking.

The site will be known as ‘Pannal Community Park’ to reflect the club’s ambition to encourage wider community use for other sporting and non sporting interests. As well as being the home for Pannal Sports, the club’s plans include providing a home for the junior section of Pannal Cricket Club and a 1km running trail with training stations.

The overall project will cost in the region of £1.4m. Phase one of the works to build the pitches will require 20,000 cubic metres of soil to level the site, 3,450 tonnes of sand and over 10,000 metres of new drainage pipes. The pitch works and installation of the drainage will take approximately 3 months to complete, which will give the grass sufficient time to grow ready for the start of the 2019 season. The club is currently finalising the plans for phase two, which includes the building and fitting out of the changing pavilion building, and still needs to raise £150,000 to complete the project.

The club worked in partnership with the Football Foundation and the County FA to secure a £354,937 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 539 grants worth £19.9m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £39.4m across the whole of West Riding.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded 18,000 grants worth more than £638m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £841m – totalling almost £1.5bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Nick Viles, Chairman of Pannal Sports JFC, said: “The whole club is very excited that we have actually started the building of our new ground. Having a place to call home has been the club’s dream since before I joined, 16 years ago. We would have never realised our dream without the hard work and dedication of our new ground team led by Mark Taylor, the expertise and guidance of the team from the Football Foundation, as well as the support of Harrogate Borough Council, the club’s parents and the local community.”

Mark Taylor, Ground Team Leader at Pannal Sports JFC, said: “We want this to be a facility that benefits the wider community. It’s taken over 10 years to get to this stage, with the first 7 years just trying to find a site. The last 3 years have been extremely busy, designing the scheme, gaining planning permission, securing a long term lease and appointing a contractor. There have been a number of challenges to overcome before we could start the work, but we are all looking forward to being able to use the new pitches in autumn 2019.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The news that works have officially begun on Pannal Sports JFC’s brand new facility will undoubtedly provide a boost for grassroots sport in area. Funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, is playing a vital role in making the project a reality.

“Thanks to their investment, Pannal Sports JFC is one of many clubs and organisations across England set to benefit from a state-of-the-art new facility – in this case, a facility.  These facilities not only act as excellent physical and social outlets for communities, but also provide new jobs – during construction and in the years to come, with people needed to support sites in delivering safe and positive environments for any user.”

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