Liam Byrne MP and Lord Mayor unveil new all-weather football pitch in Birmingham
MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill, The Rt Hon. Liam Byrne and Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Carl Rice, officially opened Hodge Hill College’s new floodlit all-weather pitch and upgraded changing pavilion recently (Monday 27 March 2017). The project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
The project will enable local grassroots side Sporting FC to house all of its 13 teams at the new state-of-the-art facility, with the Birmingham outfit projected to create 11 new sides as a result. The venue will form a ‘hub’ site for football in the West Midlands, with Bromford Lions FC, who boast 17 teams to their name, also calling the facility home in addition to Hodge Hill College’s 1,200 students.
The all-weather pitch, compatible for 5v5, 7v7 and 11v11 football will be used all-year-round for training and matches, and has been installed with a ‘shock pad’ underneath the playing surface to accommodate multi-sports including rugby and American football.
The works to the changing pavilion meanwhile have included the refurbishment and enlargement of existing team and officials’ changing rooms, with a new 30-space car park also built.
Hodge Hill College worked alongside the Birmingham FA and Football Foundation to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on-site, with an emphasis on increasing participation. As part of the plan, Braidwood Deaf School will deliver weekly football sessions, with the long-term view of creating a deaf football team in partnership with a local grassroots club.
MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill, The Rt Hon. Liam Byrne, said: “The opening of this new all-weather pitch is fantastic news for Hodge Hill College and the many local community clubs that will use the new facility. Pitches such as these are vital in ensuring everyone is provided with safe, accessible and top-quality facilities to play and enjoy sport, and I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their investment behind the project.”
Jonathan Miller, Strategic Site and Finance Director at Hodge Hill College, said: “The funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has given the school and local community a fantastic new facility for all to enjoy. This is a great addition to the school which we hope will improve grassroots sport both within the school and also across the local community.”