Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, officially reopened Cliffe FC’s pitches recently (Saturday 11 November), following work carried out to repair damage caused by Storm Desmond in late 2015. Many grassroots football clubs saw their pitches, changing rooms and stands damaged by strong winds and heavy rain fall, causing matches and training sessions to be postponed.
Cliffe FC was given assistance through a £14,839 grant from the Emergency Football Relief Fund – a scheme delivered by the Football Foundation that awarded grants to football facilities damaged as a result of the storm.
In the case of Cliffe FC, the storm resulted in severe flooding of their playing surface, already prone to waterlogging. This led to the pitch being unplayable for over six months, and the club being without a ground for half of the 2015/16 season. This cost both the club and its players, as they were forced to rent alternative venues and travel further for training and matches.
Thanks to the grant, the club have been able to install a state-of-the-art new drainage system, as well as perform vital surface improvement work. The project means that the club can now offer its players the best facility possible, and protects against further damage from flooding. Cliffe FC’s four teams will all benefit from the improved surface.
Up to £750,000 was made available by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England to rebuild and repair grassroots football pitches and facilities that suffered storm damage and flooding, to enable football to continue across the affected regions as quickly as possible. This Emergency Fund was available for grassroots football clubs across all levels of The FA National League System (Step 1 to Step 7) that required assistance to make facilities safe and fit for purpose again.
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, said: “I was delighted to have been asked to reopen Cliffe FC’s improved pitches. Grassroots sport is really important in our area, so it’s great to have this facility back up and running following the severe storm damage.
“My thanks go to the Football Foundation, which delivered the Emergency Football Relief Fund. Funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, their grant has been instrumental in returning Cliffe FC to its home ground.”
Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see that the facilities damaged by floods in Cliffe have been rejuvenated by the Football Foundation’s Emergency Football Relief Fund. My thanks go to Nigel Adams MP for reopening the club’s pitch.
“Grassroots facilities are vital to boosting local communities and it shows what the Premier League, The FA and the Government can achieve when working in partnership to help improve them.”
Malcolm Bryce, Cliffe FC Club Secretary, said: “We are very grateful for the Emergency Football Relief Fund, and this project has secured the future for the football club playing field and wider Cliffe village community as a whole for many years to come. Many thanks to Stuart Ballantyne of Cliffe FC committee, and the CPFA for their assistance also.”