The aim of the programme was to create a sustainable model for football facilities based around artificial grass pitches on hub sites.
The fund was intended to provide significant new investment into local, accessible facilities. This differs it from traditional football investment streams as the funding partners are keen to see a portfolio approach that provides an area-wide solution, rather than a one-off site investment.
Parklife national funding round
The national funding round launched 26 October 2016 in Sheffield. Expressions of Interest were invited from local authorities with a population of 200,000 or more, giving a direct opportunity for over 80 local authorities to access the programme.
The reason for a population threshold is because evidence suggests a certain level of population density is required to create sufficient demand to support the Parklife model. Smaller local authorities may partner with neighbouring areas in order to achieve the population threshold.
Three national workshops for priority LAs took place in November 2016 at the following dates and locations:
- Bisham Abbey – Friday 4 November
- Coventry – Monday 7 November
- Sheffield – Thursday 17 November
- Liverpool – Wednesday 30 November
This provided an opportunity to learn more about the Parklife Football Hubs model, discuss the new Sheffield pathfinder facility and talk directly with colleagues from the Football Association, Premier League and Sport England.
Parklife Football Hubs will:
- Be strategically planned and programmed
- Be financially sustainable and based on strong business plans, with sites capable of income generation helping sustain a portfolio approach and reduce reliance on public subsidy
- Be designed collaboratively with local partners including the FA, County FA, local professional club(s), the local football community and local authorities
- Encourage people to play more regularly, or to become active and in doing so, achieve wider social outcomes
- Be affordable, open and accessible to all
- Be flexible – catering for football activity, other sports and also other programmes such as education, health and wider community development initiatives as appropriate
- Offer a high-quality customer experience and provide a safe and welcoming environment for football-led and other demand-led local programmes to flourish
- Provide a new management and operational approach to grassroots football facilities.
Expressions of interest
This is a targeted programme and expressions of interest closed 27 January 2017