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Perfect score for football venue

Recognition for the success of Bradley Football Development Centre

GRASSROOTS sport in North East Lincolnshire has been given a seal of approval by the Football Foundation after Bradley Football Development Centre netted the maximum score in a recent inspection.

As part of the Football Foundation’s £1-million funding grant for the town’s community football centre, they are obliged to regularly ensure that the facility is meeting its goal of providing the highest quality facilities for local sportspeople, clubs and other organisations.

The North East Lincolnshire Council managed facility scored five out of five following their inspection in October 2012, showing they are excelling in the obligations set out in their grant.

The assessment covered how well the facilities are being used by community groups and young people, the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities together with its overall management and development.

Councillor Mick Burnett, portfolio holder for tourism and culture, said: “This is great news and testament to all the hard work that staff, local sports clubs and coaches have put into Bradley.

“The sportspeople who come back time and time again to make use of the venue is one of the reasons for its success. They have tremendous respect for facility and are proud that Bradley pitches is in their town - it really is the envy of visitors from far and wide.

“We are delighted with our first inspection score but will not rest on our laurels. We will be working hard to improve the facility and ensure that we continue to provide the highest possible services for local people.”

It is expected that around 65,000 people will have used the facilities by the end of March this year.

Ben Dunning, Football Foundation Investment Programme Manager for the project, said: “This is a flagship project for the East Midlands with high quality football facilities being operated by committed and driven staff. The support day gave an insight into the excellent work being carried out at the centre and demonstrated how much community activity takes place at the site.

“North East Lincolnshire Council alongside the Lincolnshire FA have worked extremely hard to achieve this result and deserve great credit for their efforts. Bradley Football Development Centre is just one of many examples of how investment by the Premier League, The FA and government via Sport England can have a sustained positive impact on communities.”

Former England manager Graham Taylor officially opened Bradley Football Development Centre in March 2010. It boasts 12 full size grass pitches, six mini-soccer pitches, five junior pitches, two cricket wickets and a third generation (3G) floodlit artificial grass pitch.

Furthermore, the complex has ten changing rooms, three officials’ rooms, office space, spectator toilets and a function room with kitchen and bar provisions. More general improvements to the complex included enhanced security and better pitch drainage, all crucial elements to make the complex a regional centre of football development excellence.

The state-of-the-art site would not have been possible were it not for a £1m grant from the Football Foundation, the sports charity funded by the Premier League, the FA and the Government via Sport England. An additional £100,000 was awarded by the Foundation’s partner organisation, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, which funds ground development at the lower levels of the game.

The £3m upgrade of the site was also been funded by North East Lincolnshire Council, the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education and Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN). The scheme received support from local football leagues and local clubs, including Grimsby Borough FC and Cleethorpes Town FC.

For more information on sessions at Bradley call (01472) 325 300.