VIDEO: Mason Benett opens new 3G football pitch in Shirebrook

A brand new sports facility worth almost £1m is set for its official opening at Shirebrook Academy today (Wednesday).

Funded by £397,100 from the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity, the project will significantly benefit grassroots sport in the area.

The opening, by local Derby County football star Mason Benett, will take place at 13.45pm at Shirebrook Academy, Common Lane, Shirebrook, Mansfield S43 4WF.

The new facility boasts a brand new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP).

This complements the new changing pavilion on the site which consists of four changing rooms, a club room and kitchen – all of which all form part of a larger development at the school which opened in Easter 2013.

The new facility will allow pupils at the Academy to enjoy school football and PE lessons all year round.

Also standing to benefit is the Academy’s partner club, Shirebrook Rangers, who will use the site to train and play.

The Academy worked in partnership with the Derbyshire County FA to secure the £397,100 grant from the Football Foundation, which has helped so many causes.

Shirebrook Academy were also awarded £2,627 from the Youth Goalposts Fund in order to purchase new goalposts for the 3G AGP that were in line with the new rules set by the FA and relevant to the age and size of the participants.

Julie Bloor, executive principal of Shirebrook Academy, said: “The pitch is already attracting much interest amongst the community and many local players are starting to benefit from the facility – even before the onset of the winter nights.

“Football is a huge success at the Academy already, and we hope that this facility helps to continue this tradition.”

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “It is so rewarding to see this new facility completed and ready for use by the local community.

“Alongside the Derbyshire County FA, Shirebrook Academy and their partners Shirebrook Rangers have worked extremely hard to ensure this project has come to fruition and deserve great credit for its endeavours.

“This project in Shirebrook is a wonderful example of what the Football Foundation is doing right across the country.

“Foundation investment is helping to transform the national inventory of facilities that supports the grassroots game in this country, and thanks must go to our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England) for their crucial and generous financial support, without which none of this would be possible.”

For more information about the work the Football Foundation is doing all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.