Grass Pitches

Grass Pitches

FA Grass Pitch Improvement Programme

MAINTAINING THE TRUE GrassROOTS OF FOOTBALL

Improving Essex Surfaces So You Can Enjoy the Game

In the annual Grassroots Football Survey, our stakeholders regularly highlight the need to focus on the quality of playing surfaces if we are to continue to develop players and ensure the game remains enjoyable to all. It is for these reasons that grass pitch improvement is one of the key performance targets in the FA National Game Strategy and our own 2018-21 'Moving Forward' Strategy.

The FA Facilities & Investment Team have been working in partnership with the Grounds Management Association (GMA) to develop a Grass Pitch Improvement and Maintenance Programme which can be utilised by grassroots football clubs, organisations and local authorities, with the simple aim of improving the quality of grass pitches.

The key principles behind the service are to provide members of the programme with advice and practical solutions via a Grass Pitch Assessment Report (GPAR) which will also identify the key enhanced maintenance works required, along with any machinery requirements.

If a site is categorised as 'Poor' or 'Basic' on the grassroots pitch quality framework, they are then potentially eligible to apply for grass pitch revenue funding through the Football Foundation. This is a game-changing opportunity and, for the first time ever, sites can get access to the funding they need in order to improve their pitches.

The new funding package window opened on the 5th December 2019 and, thus far, ten clubs in Essex (as of May 2020) have been successful in obtaining over £500,000 investment into grass football pitches across the county. This opens up the opportunity for pitch operators to invest in enhanced maintenance services over a ten-year period, or capital machinery grants up 75% of the total cost.

Find Out More

If you believe your site would benefit from becoming part of the FA Grass Pitch Improvement Programme, the documents below is your next step.

The 'Grass Pitch Improvement Programme Information Sheet' document will take you through, step by step, what is required. The 'PIP Visit Request Expression of Interest' document needs to be completed and sent to beth.morrell@essexfa.com.

FA Grass Pitch Improvement Programme