Nearly £1m to be invested in historic Great Yarmouth football ground
One of the country's most historically important football grounds is to get a £972,078 investment in new grassroots facilities.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council is working with the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation to improve facilities at the Wellesley Recreation Ground in Great Yarmouth.
Thanks to a Football Foundation grant of £747,078 and match funding of £225,000 from the Council, a total of £972,078 will be invested in the grounds.
The funding will include the construction of a new floodlit 9v9 3G artificial grass football pitch and renovation works to the Grade II listed Tennis Pavilion building, bringing the building back into use by providing changing and meeting facilities to support the new pitch.
The works are expected to begin in September this year and are anticipated to be finished by the beginning of 2023.
Home to what is considered the oldest football stand still in use in Britain, and possibly the world, as well as three Grade II listed buildings, Wellesley Recreation Ground has been an important historic and recreational asset of Great Yarmouth since its opening in 1888.
Today, the ground is home to Great Yarmouth Town Football Club and Great Yarmouth Athletics Club, alongside community use.
Cllr Flaxman-Taylor, chairman of the Housing and Neighbourhood committee, said: "Securing funding from the Football Foundation is another fantastic milestone in our plan to improve the leisure and sport facilities at the Wellesley for our residents, community groups and visitors.
"The bid and the positive outcome reflects the hard work put in by councillors and officers and is another fantastic example of investment happening in the borough."
Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: "This grant award to Wellesley Recreation Ground towards developing a new 3G pitch and renovations to the changing pavilion is great news for the local community.
It will support people's ability to play our national game locally and therefore help unlock football's many benefits to physical and mental wellbeing. That's why we're committed to transforming the face of grassroots football facilities in this country.
"The Football Foundation is working closely with our partners - the Premier League, The FA, government and Sport England - support facility development projects like this across the country over the next decade to transform our grassroots game and unlock the power of pitches."