Why we need this funding
Elton High School has suffered from poor quality, unusable external sports facilities for many years. Elton has extensive playing fields but due to ineffective drainage and the ability to fund improvements, our playing fields can only be used during the dry summer months, approximately three months of the year, and are frequently waterlogged. Our lack of facilities has led to the school not being able to host any after school football fixtures, and our children have had to withdraw from numerous competitions due to limited opportunities to train. We have not been able to establish working partnerships with local football clubs and have no league football lettings within the community. We feel frustrated that we cannot generate income from our extensive grounds nor support our local community / football leagues, who are desperately in need of good quality training and match facilities.
The project so far
So in partnership with Lancashire FA and the Football Foundation the Elton High School is involved in an amazing project to build a new 3G All Weather Pitch here within the school grounds. With this project we want to place our school at the heart of our community offering people of all ages the opportunity to share in our facilities, this is a community project and not a school project. It will contribute to the health and wellness of all those that use it from our 1031 students and 110 staff to the football clubs that will be partnering us with their 30 plus teams. The holiday clubs whose reach will be much bigger than the local community and the initiatives that get people moving through a love of sport.
Whilst the Football Foundation grant application is for £500,000, the actual cost to build the pitch will be around £700,000. The School will be contributing a significant amount of capital funding and will also be supported by the Local Authority. However, we have committed ourselves to raising £50,000 through applying for small grants and through hosting events for students and their families to support us.
This is where we need help, our project needs to raise as much money as we can towards our £50k target.
The impact of the project
The impact of this project being successful will be massive not only for our school and our ten football teams but also our wider local community. If we are able to secure the additional funding it would mean that with the new facility we would be able to establish new community partnerships. We have already received commitment from Walshaw Sports and Ramsbottom United two of the largest junior clubs in Bury and First Football Coaching Academy. They will all be our main partners for the facility. They would be able to expand their leagues and develop grassroots community football by having all year round training and ultimately bringing people together through football. There will also be opportunities for the facility to be used by other agencies such as Bury FC & Community Trust who host an after school football club focusing on mental health, Bury Local Authority who run the I WILL IF YOU WILL initiative and Bury FC post 16 careers through football. In the past we have had to turn down these fantastic sessions but with our new facility we would have the capacity for them to run on a regular basis. We also see our site offering walking football sessions and also evening “pay and play”. Our students would have the opportunity to participate in more lunch time and after school activities enabling us to enter and host football fixtures and leagues and greatly increase participation for girls, boys, and students with disabilities. We would be able to host the Bury Schools Girls & Boys Football Tournament once more bringing the local schools together and the English School Football Association Cup which have in the past had to decline hosting matches due to poor facilities.
During the off-peak months the 3G pitch would focus on Fitness, Rounders, Softball, Rugby, Athletics, Cross Country etc. within school whilst also hosting football holiday clubs led by our current non-affiliated partners during all school holiday periods.
Please donate to this fantastic cause and help improve lives in our community, thank you.