A newly-refurbished changing pavilion in Mid Essex will ensure continued football participation for generations to come after the doors to Ingatestone & Fryerning Parish Council’s new community facility were officially opened recently.
The refurbished Seymour Pavilion was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation. After netting a £99,000 grant from the Foundation, work began on the site in January. Following the opening of the new community building on Wednesday 29th May, football can remain prominent in Ingatestone.
The refurbishment includes the reconfiguration of the pavilion to provide two changing rooms, an officials’ changing room, community hall, kitchen, toilets and storage space. With the old facility unable to meet FA facility criteria, modernisation of the site was essential to safeguard football participation in the village.
A shortage of recreational space in Ingatestone meant the council recognised the importance of refurbishing the pavilion at Seymour Field, for fear of the land being left unused and, therefore, at a high risk of being sold off for housing development.
As the two main football teams in the village, Stones Athletic YFC and Stones FC worked alongside the Essex County FA to address potential areas of growth. It is anticipated the pavilion will support an additional six teams playing football at the site over the next five years. This will, in turn, support over 70 new affiliated players, of whom nearly 30 will be competing in girls’ teams.
Paul Jeater, Chair of Ingatestone & Fryerning Parish Council, said: “Prior to the Parish Council signing a 25-year lease for Seymour Pavilion and Field, the site was in poor repair. Now, with thanks to the Football Foundation’s grant, we have been able to create a facility that will be the pride of the parish for future generations.”
Essex County FA Development Manager, Nick Emery, was present at the opening, and he commented: “We’re really pleased to see this facility in Ingatestone being upgraded for the benefit of many players in future years.”
“Adequate facilities are a huge influence on participation in grassroots football so this positive news is very welcome. We’re proud to see more money from the Football Foundation being invested in Essex, and we thank everyone involved in this project for making it happen.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and Government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country.”
“Their funding has played a key role in delivering this refurbished changing pavilion in Ingatestone and I am delighted for everyone associated with Ingatestone & Fryerning Parish Council. Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”
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