A newly refurbished changing pavilion in Essex will ensure continued football participation for generations to come after the doors to Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council’s new community facility were officially opened recently on Wednesday 29 May.
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 Football Foundation, work begun on the site in January 2019. Following the opening of the new community building, 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.
With a shortage of recreational space in Ingatestone the council recognised the importance of refurbishing the pavilion at Seymour Field, for fear of the land being left unused and therefore at 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 Essex County FA to address potential areas of growth. It is anticipated that the refurbished 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 which nearly 30 will be competing in girls’ teams.
Paul Jeater, Chair of Ingatestone and 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.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “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 and Fryerning Parish Council.
“This is one example we want to make people in Ingatestone aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other counties. We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Ingatestone once and for all.
“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.”