£750,000 grant to help pay for state-of-the-art community sports pitch at Biggleswade school

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Construction will start this summer

Grassroots sport in the Biggleswade area has received a welcome boost after Stratton Upper School secured funding for a state-of-the-art 3G all-weather artificial sports pitch.

A grant of £750,000 from the Premier League, The FA, and the Government's Football Foundation, means the school, part of the Meridian Trust, will be able to start construction of its highly anticipated facility this summer.

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The funding towards the total cost of £934,000 will create a cutting-edge 3G all-weather sports pitch to enhance the sports programs offered at Stratton and serve as a hub for various teams, clubs, and schools in the area.

Pupils playing rugby at Stratton Upper SchoolPupils playing rugby at Stratton Upper School
Pupils playing rugby at Stratton Upper School

Principal Sam Farmer said: "We are thrilled to have successfully secured this funding. At Stratton Upper School, we strongly believe in the power of sports to inspire, educate, and unite our students and the wider community.

“This funding will allow us to create a cutting-edge sports facility that will not only benefit our students but also provide opportunities for local teams, clubs, and schools to thrive. We are grateful for the support we have received and are excited about the positive impact this project will have on the lives of our students and the entire community."

The school currently has a partnership with Norwich City Football Club’s Regional Development Programme which provides opportunities for students to study, train and play football as part of the school’s broad post-16 programme.

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Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners – the Premier League, The FA and Government – to transform the quality of grassroots facilities in England by delivering projects like this across the country.

“Good quality playing facilities have a transformative impact on physical and mental health and play an important role in bringing people together and strengthening local communities.

“This grant award to Stratton Upper School towards developing a new 3G football turf pitch is fantastic news for the local community and will help give more people access to a great place to play.”

Other funding has been provided to Stratton Upper School by Central Bedfordshire Council, Langford and Biggleswade Windfarm Community Fund and Meridian Trust.

The sports pitch is anticipated to be open and operational by the end of 2023.