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MK Dons FC Chairman unveils Moretonville JFC's brand new changing pavilion in Buckinghamshire

Pete Winkelman, Chairman of Milton Keynes Dons FC, officially opened Moretonville JFC's (MJFC) state-of-the-art changing pavilion and refurbished clubhouse recently (Saturday 2 September), which was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation.

Moretonville JFC can now provide their 400 players with brand new changing facilities, which have replaced the dilapidated cabins the club previously used. In addition to refurbishing it, the grant has enabled the club to extend their existing clubhouse to include the new pavilion, comprising: four team changing rooms; two officials’ changing rooms and spectator toilets.

Other users of the clubhouse and changing provision will include: The Buckingham School; Sports 4 All; Just 4 Keepers and the University of Buckingham. The Berkshire & Buckinghamshire FA will also use the facility as a venue for delivering FA referee and coaching education.

One of the largest clubs in the area, Moretonville JFC was named the best Charter Standard Community Club in Buckinghamshire this year. They also scooped the corresponding FA Regional Award for the 2015/16 season. The club hopes that their new pavilion will help them to attract and retain even more players. 

Moretonville have worked alongside the Berks and Bucks FA and the 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.

The club currently runs 34 teams, ranging from the Under-7 to the Under-18 level, and an Under-6 training squad. They plan to introduce five brand new teams, four of which will be girls’. This is expected to boost female football participation at the facility by 117%. The club will also link with Launton Ladies FC, to improve player pathways for girls.

MJFC already has strong links with the area’s senior club, Buckingham Athletic FC, who will play some league fixtures at the facility. Additionally, Moretonville JFC will work with the Berks & Bucks FA to set up walking football sessions, which will take advantage of the new clubhouse and changing pavilion. As a result, football participation at the site is expected to rise by 256% in those over the age of 26.

The club worked in partnership with the Berks and Bucks FA to secure a £284,733 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. The club also raised £40,000 in partnership funding, and received £50,000 from the Sport England Inspired Facilities Fund and £25,000 from the Aylesbury Vale Community Chest.

This is the second grant delivered by the Football Foundation that the club has benefited from. The University of Buckingham secured a £50,212 grant on the club’s behalf in 2002, which helped to improve the grass pitches used by MJFC.

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and Government, via Sport England. It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 312 grants worth £10.4m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £73.8m across the whole of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

By providing more high-quality facilities, coupled with coaching at the appropriate age group, the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund aims to improve the experience for regular players as well as attracting new players to the game. Many of the new state-of-the-art facilities will serve to strengthen the connection between professional football clubs and their local communities, particularly in the most deprived areas of the country, through the professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.

Phil Doran, Chairman of Moretonville, said: “We have come a long way since 1969 when we had a couple of teams playing on the parkland in Maids Moreton. We are indebted to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for this fantastic contribution. So many young people from this area will benefit from our facilities. We pride ourselves on providing a fun and secure environment where young people have a social outlet of grassroots sport that enables them to develop as both footballers and young people. This facility will have such a positive impact on that ethos”.

Liz Pill, Head of Delivery for the Berks & Bucks FA, said: “Moretonville JFC affiliate with over 30 teams and have a clear pathway for Under-7s to Under-18s with strong adult links. They are a terrific club, well organised and very committed. The infrastructure of the new changing rooms will ensure that there is a sustainable and lasting legacy for young people within the local community. This project is a great example of how to improve participation and standards within a club environment.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see Moretonville JFC join thousands of local clubs who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a new changing pavilion.

“Having delivered over £1.4bn of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England.

“These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.”


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