Hockey benefits from Inspired Facilities funding

Hannah Macleod helps announce Sport England's Inspired Facilities round three funding

The Hermitage Academy in County Durham, in conjunction with Durham Hockey Club, is among hundreds of sports groups celebrating legacy investments from Sport England to improve local sports facilities.

£16.6 million of National Lottery funding has been awarded to 310 projects, taking the number of local communities supported by Inspired Facilities to more than 1,000 – one year ahead of schedule. The investments will bring big improvements to local facilities from new playing surfaces to floodlights and better changing rooms – and at least £20 million more will be offered through two further funding rounds.

The fund is part of Sport England’s Places People Play Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme and all improved facilities carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.

England and Great Britain hockey stars Helen Richardson and Hannah Macleod were on hand to present cheques to some of the lucky projects along with Minister for Sport and Tourism, Hugh Robertson, and Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England.

The most recent round of funding is the third of five rounds, with hockey once again benefiting through the refurbishment of pitches and facilities across the country.

Hockey Facilities Fast Facts

  • The Inspired Facilities fund gives grants of up to 50k for clubs and 150k for local authorities/schools
  • Nearly half of hockey’s 1000 useable pitches will be in need of refurbishment in the next four-to-eight years and this fund has proved invaluable
  • Installation of MUGAs (multi-use games area) such as the one at Barnes where Helen and Hannah launched round three funding awards helps to ease congestion on full sized pitches, allowing more people to play locally
  • MUGAs are great for Rush Hockey, Back to Hockey and Young People activity
  • The Inspired Facilities Fund is one of the easiest funds to apply for with no red tape and a simple online application process 
  • The Inspired Facilities Fund allows for things such as the installation of lights, upgrading of clubhouses, making sports facilities more environmentally friendly (new boilers, better showers, lower energy bills etc)

The announcement was made at Barnes Sports Club, which received £50,000 of funding to pay for a multi-use games area that can be used for hockey and netball. Currently hockey players from Barnes Sports Club have to travel four miles to train.

Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: “We have had such a fantastic response from sports clubs to Inspired Facilities that we’ve reached our target of making 1,000 grants a year early. Demand remains strong so will offer a further £20 million of funding over the next 15 months.”

Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and Tourism, said: “Six months on from the start of the London 2012 Games, we have extremely strong foundations in place for the sports legacy. The Places People Play programme goes from strength to strength and this £16.6 million investment will improve facilities at local sports club across the country, encouraging participation and giving people more opportunities to get involved in sport.”

Olympic bronze medallist, Helen Richardson, said: “Good local facilities are really important for grassroots sport so these lottery investments will have a big impact. It’s fantastic to see that lots of hockey clubs are benefitting too.”

Michael Harriman from Barnes Sports Club said: “The help from Sport England is greater than just the financial assistance offered. The Inspired Facilities programme provides clubs with guidance on planning permission, contractors, materials and construction. This knowledge, which is shared with clubs throughout the country, is an invaluable aid to the volunteers who run grassroots sport.”

Six months on from the start of the Olympics, today’s milestone is further evidence of the steps being taken to build on the momentum of 2012:

  • Last week Sport England launched a new £40 million fund to help local sports projects 
  • Last month £493 million was committed to 46 sports over the next four years 
  • 15.5 million people are now playing sport every week, more than ever before.

If you are interested in finding out more about how the Inspired Facilities fund could benefit your club, contact your local England Hockey Relationship Manager.