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Football Foundation funding boost for multi-sport facilities

The Football Foundation have set a target for 40% of its investment to be in multi-sport projects by 2025.

This is worth a projected £92 million over the next three years and includes £15m of National Lottery funding from us that will be made available to support the improvement of grass pitches at cricket, rugby league and rugby union grounds nationwide.

The aim is to improve the landscape of sport across the country, ensuring people have more access to places to play the sports they love, aligning with our own Uniting the Movement strategy.

In conjunction with the announcement was the launch of PitchPower to more sports.

The foundation’s web app, designed to revolutionise the condition of grass pitches in England, has been open to football facilities since 2020, but will now be available to rugby league, rugby union, with cricket following in 2023, ahead of their new season.

The app allows community clubs and organisations to carry out and submit sport-specific grass pitch inspections, with experts from the Grounds Management Association then providing bespoke advice and recommendations to improve the pitch quality.

From next year, organisations using PitchPower will also be able to apply for funding to support making improvements identified through the app and our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, is excited by the project.

“The rollout of the PitchPower app for football, cricket and rugby is a major step forward for facility enhancement, bringing together a host of major sporting bodies in exactly the way our Uniting the Movement strategy seeks to do,” he said.

“I am delighted that Sport England is also providing £15m of National Lottery funding to help further improve pitches in places where they can have the biggest impact.

“I am also pleased that 40% of the Football Foundation’s funding over the next three years will also have a multi-sport benefit in addition to football – this is huge and will benefit multi-sport pitches and facilities up and down the country, ensuring more people can play more sport, more often.”

The Football Foundation's pledge to increase funding into multi-sport projects will see benefits for sports such as rugby and cricket, but also netball and basketball.

In addition to this, the multi-sport commitment will see the first Football Foundation ‘PlayZones’ open in 2023.

These small-sided sports facilities, which have been boosted by an additional £13.5m investment from the Premier League, will provide accessible outdoor facilities that can help bring communities together through recreational activity.

And England men’s manager Gareth Southgate is pleased to see the collaboration involved in making these projects possible.

“The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation does so much more than helping communities improve their local football facilities and its new commitment to multi-sport facility funding marks an exciting time for grassroots sport across the country,” said Gareth, who was at the launch event with representatives from the English cricket, rugby union and rugby league teams.

“PitchPower is going to be a game changer for grass pitch sports in this country.

“Around 90% of the affiliated football game is played on grass but we know that millions of players are left disappointed every year when their matches are cancelled due to poor quality pitches, something the Football Foundation and its partners are working tirelessly to prevent.

“With the funding that cricket and rugby clubs will be able to unlock by undertaking inspections with PitchPower, a greater number of pitches across these sports will be better quality.

“This means more opportunities to play and get active which is hugely important to the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing.”

Nigel Huddleston, Sports Minister

"We are committed to improving access to good quality sports facilities and levelling up opportunities for people to get involved in sport.

"Coupled with the £230 million investment we are making to build or improve up to 8,000 grassroots football and multi-sport facilities across the UK by 2025, this commitment from the Football Foundation will be transformational.

"This shows what can happen when we work together with football and our partners at the Premier League and The FA."


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