Lord Pendry impressed by new facilities at Centre that produced Nicky Butt

Nicky Butt

Nicky Butt

Lord Pendry returned the North West on Friday, where he was once the MP for Stalybridge & Hyde, to visit Droylsden Community and Sports Centre’s clubhouse and third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).

The newly opened facilities, funded by the Football Foundation, are already making a significant contribution to grassroots sport in the area. The Centre produced former Manchester United and England star, Nicky Butt, so with this stunning new upgraded site it may not be long before it sees the next generation of talent emerge from the thousands of youngsters from the surrounding areas that will now be able to access regular sporting activity.

On his first visit to the facilities since they opened in July earlier this year, Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, received a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities which are now providing a safer and more enjoyable playing environment than before for Droylsden Juniors FC and the young people of the local community.

He then unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit, and to celebrate the Centre’s continued development of grassroots football and the extensive range of other sporting opportunities that can now be sustainably offered.

Back in 2010, The Droylsden Youth Centre worked in partnership with Manchester FA to secure a £864,679 grant from the Football Foundation. As the umbrella organisation for Droylsden Youth FC, the Centre has also previously been awarded a club development grant of £7,408 by the Foundation in order to develop new teams and a £300 Foundation grant, as part of The FA’s Respect programme to support responsible, positive behaviour amongst players and spectators.

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,500 grants worth more than £410m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £560m. Across Manchester, the Football Foundation has awarded 78 grants worth £12m towards grassroots sports projects worth £27m.

Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation, commented: “I am so delighted to see the positive effect this development is having to grassroots sport and the community in Droylsden, and pleased to meet the people dedicated to ensuring its continued success.

“The Football Foundation continues and is committed to supporting projects like this across the country with the funds generously provided by our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England.”

Speaking after the visit, Alan Bradbury MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Droylsden Youth Centre, said: “The new facilities are fantastic, and our young players are thrilled with the 3G pitch and the great changing accommodation.

“There is a real sense of pride around the club in terms of what has been achieved – a sense of pride that was further enhanced with the official visit of Lord Pendry, President of the Football Foundation.

“Lord Pendry has done so much to support the development of sport generally and grassroots football in particular. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him again for taking the time to visit us here in Droylsden.”

For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.

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