COMPLETION of four new state of the art football hubs is just months away, as part of a major £20 million investment in grassroots football across the city.
The ‘Parklife’ project is a partnership between Liverpool City Council, local football leagues, the Premier League, The FA, the Government, the Football Foundation and Sport England. It will see the creation of 12 floodlit 3G pitches, as well as health and fitness and coaching facilities – representing a major step-change in grassroots football provision across the city.
The Premier League, The FA, the Government are investing £12.7m through their charity, the Football Foundation, with the remainder coming from the city council.
The hubs will be used to host both formal league fixtures on weekends and recreational/informal games during the week.
The first three sites at Jeffrey Humble Playing Field (Fazakerley), Simpson Road (Woolton) and Heron Eccles (Allerton) will be handed over to the City Council and ready for use by end of September once the final fit outs have been completed.
The remaining hub site at Jericho Lane Playing Field (Otterspool) will be ready at the end of October, once ground conditions at the site have been resolved.
In the meantime, clubs will use existing facilities before transferring across to the new sites ahead of the winter, when existing pitches are often waterlogged or frozen.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Liverpool is the spiritual home of English football and the creation of these four football hubs will transform the grassroots game in the city.
“For the first time, we will have state of the art facilities that will help us to develop the next generation of Gerrards and Rooneys,” he added.
Dave Pugh, Chief Executive of the Liverpool County FA said: “We have been working hard with the Liverpool Grassroots Steering Group, Liverpool City Council and The FA to develop this project, which will see a huge investment in the city for grassroots football.
The £20 million investment in the four hubs is in addition to almost £10 million spent on community football facilities in the last few years, including:
Wavertree: £350k for a new 3G pitch
Broadgreen School: £345k for a new 3G pitch
St John Bosco (Croxteth): £1m for new 3G pitch and ancillary facilities
Carr Lane East (Croxteth): £1.5m for new grass pitches and changing pavilion
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: £2.2m for new 3G pitch and ancillary facilities
Walton Hall Park: £350k for a new 3G pitch with the County FA
Jeffery Humble Playing Field: £850k for new changing pavilion
Bill Shankly Playing Field: £800k for a new changing pavilion
EFC Community Hub: £820k for new community facility
Archbishop Beck School: £350k for adaptations to sports hall to accommodate disability football