Trust Thamesmead's long-held dream of creating first class outdoor sporting facilities in Thamesmead is to become reality with the news that the community development agency has succeeded in gaining two major sources of funding.
The Football Foundation, the UK's largest sports charity, has pledged £1.075 million with another £525,000 coming from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency for England.
Despite the difficult financial climate, this outcome, which is the result of a lot of hard work over a number of years, will allow Trust Thamesmead to build Sporting Club Thamesmead, a new community multi sports hub on the site of Thamesmead Town Football Club.
The new facility will provide an iconic community sports pavilion with changing facilities, indoor activity rooms and social facilities available to all residents of Thamesmead.
Outside there will be a new full size floodlit synthetic turf pitch for year round community football and other sports, a full sized senior grass football pitch and ancillary grass pitches in the adjacent Crossways Park, and a floodlit Multi Use Games Area available for a wide range of sports and activities.
The scheme also features enhanced parking and access to the site, as well as improved spectator facilities for supporters and members of Thamesmead Town FC.
Vic Grimes, Trust Thamesmead's Chair, commented: "I'm very pleased that we now have all the funding in place and work is to start on a project which will provide a step change in sports provision in Thamesmead.
“None of this would've been possible without the solid support we have received from Bexley Council's Members and Officers during the past four years.
“This coupled with the fantastic response from the Football Foundation, the HCA and our other funders means that Thamesmead will have at last have the quality facility it has been sorely lacking for so long.”
“I am delighted that our joint working with Trust Thamesmead has delivered another success with the news that the Homes and Communities Agency is providing essential funding towards a new clubhouse and other facilities at Thamesmead Town Football Club,” said Cllr Teresa O'Neill, the Leader of the London Borough of Bexley. “The design for the new building is stunning and will provide a much needed resource for the people of Thamesmead.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said: “We warmly congratulate Trust Thamesmead and the London FA for their hard work and dedication in securing the maximum award possible from the Football Foundation of £1m.
“Sport is playing a central role in helping people to stay fit, strengthen communities and promote responsibility amongst young people. It is thanks to the funding from our partners in the Premier League, The FA and Government that the Football Foundation exists to support this type of excellent project in Thamesmead.”
David Lunts, London Regional Director at the HCA, said: “This impressive scheme will contribute to the health and well being of the entire community and provide a place for people to get together. By taking local sporting facilities to a whole new level, we expect that it will also stimulate further investment in the area as a great place to live, work and relax.”
In addition to the funding from the Football Foundation and the HCA, Trust Thamesmead's Board has already allocated £2.36 million from its limited capital with additional funding coming from the London Marathon Trust (£150,000); FIFA (£55,000); UEFA (£74,000) and Rank (£5,000).
It is expected that Sporting Club Thamesmead will open for business in July 2010.
News of the Sporting Club Thamesmead funding success comes hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Trust Thamesmead has been awarded £5.5 million by the Government's myplace project to develop a Youth Leisure Zone providing world class youth facilities in the Southern Arches in Harrow Manor Way in Thamesmead.
Sporting Club Thamesmead is being developed by Trust Thamesmead, the leading community development agency in Thamesmead in partnership with Continuum Sport & Leisure and Saville Jones.