Work will begin in late November to turn 10 acres of open field into an Academy Centre consisting of five new football pitches and a training area. This will allow all 22 sides currently playing for Lutterworth Athletic to have a permanent on-site home for the first time since the club was formed in 1983. The Club already has 500 members and will now be looking to expend even more. Schools, charities and other local organisations will also benefit from this new playing field.
The announcement came as Sport England invited more local groups to bring the 2012 legacy to life in their area by bidding for support for a local playing field through the second £2 million round of Protecting Playing Fields.
In round one, over £2 million of National Lottery funding has been offered to sports clubs and local groups to bring disused playing fields back into use, improve existing sites or create new sports pitches. Protecting Playing Fields is part of the Places People Play legacy programme to bring the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country.
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This playing field will be a lasting sporting legacy beyond the 2012 Games for Lutterworth, where generations will enjoy their first experience of sport.”
The announcement was also welcomed by Lord Bach an avid supporter and long time campaigner for the club and district facilities. Lord Bach said: “Mick and the committee have fought long and hard to secure this grant and after many years of supporting the local community can now see the future of the club and all its members secure for a lifetime. What a fantastic legacy to leave for the people of the area.”
The announcement was welcomed by local MP, Andrew Robathan, who said: “This is excellent news for my constituents in Lutterworth and I congratulate Lutterworth Athletic. I very much hope as many people as possible will use and enjoy playing on these pitches.”
The playing field will also become a Queen Elizabeth II Field after the club agreed to dedicate the facility in “perpetuity”. This is thanks to a partnership with Fields in Trust (FIT) which is running the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge as part of the programme to mark the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics. Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust said: “This fantastic investment into grassroots facilities in England will help to ensure that neighbourhoods can participate in sporting activities at all levels for years to come. We are delighted to see that this playing field will also be protected in perpetuity as part of the permanent legacy that the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will create in tribute to the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics.”
By simplifying the application process and reducing the technical expertise required to bid, Sport England has opened up this funding to groups that haven’t previously received public money. Almost half the successful bidders (23) were first-time applicants.
Protecting Playing Fields builds on the work Sport England already does to safeguard playing fields as a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting a sports playing field.
Member since: 12th March 2012
I'm the Chairman of Lutterworth Athletic FC.
Lutterworth Athletic was established in 1983. We run teams at all age groups from U7s to Veterans, including girls and ladies.