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Richard Burgon MP welcomes change thanks to new £50,000 Leeds football facility

Richard Burgon MP welcomes change thanks to new £50,000 Leeds football facility

Richard Burgon MP attends opening of Whitkirk Wanderers AFC's changing room extension

Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East, officially opened Whitkirk Wanderers AFC’s (WWAFC) £52,674 changing room extension recently (Saturday 10 October 2015), thanks to a £36,872 grant from the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.

The funding has enabled the club, who play in Division One of the West Yorkshire League, to increase the size of their two-team changing rooms, and to create two separate officials’ changing rooms with shower and toilet facilities. This impressive development will add to the existing clubhouse facilities, which hosts two bars and a social area.

This changing facility extension means that Whitkirk Wanderers now meet the correct ground grading requirements for them to maintain their current level of play.   

Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.

Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East, said, “I was absolutely delighted to see Whitkirk Wanderers AFC, here in East Leeds, get their changing room facilities improved and extended. The pavilion is used by the club and by the local community, and I'd like to thank the Premier League, through the FSIF, for their generous investment into Leeds.

“It is great to see money from the top of the football pyramid being injected back into the grassroots of the game, and I look forward to seeing the club and local community using the facility in the coming years as Whitkirk Wanderers go from strength to strength.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “These improved changing room facilities at Whitkirk Wanderers AFC highlight the commitment that the Premier League has to supporting clubs at all levels of the National League System.

"The club can now meet the correct ground grading criteria for them to maintain their current level of play. Thanks also to Richard Burgon MP for opening the facility. I look forward to seeing the club go from strength to strength in the coming seasons.”

John Friend, Treasurer, Whitkirk Wanderers AFC, said: “We decided to approach the Premier League through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund for a grant to extend the dressing rooms and bring them up to standard. The FSIF agreed to help us with a 70% grant and the extension was completed in February 2015. Without the help of the FSIF, the project would not have been possible, and the club are very grateful for their input and we have built up a good relationship with them.

“We have had numerous positive comments from visiting clubs and officials who have been impressed with the standard of improvements. I would like to thank the FSIF again for their assistance in the project along with David Hunter of Hunters Builders, Leeds, who built the extension and the Whitkirk Club itself who also provided financial assistance in the project.”

ENDS

Photos courtesy of KopyKats Imaging Leeds

For more information contact:
- John Friend on 07967 428 694 or rsmjf@hotmail.co.uk
- Alice Sherritt on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or alice.sherritt@footballfoundation.org.uk

Quote

The pavilion is used by the club and by the local community, and I'd like to thank the Premier League, through the FSIF, for their generous investment into Leeds.

Richard Burgon - MP for Leeds East

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