Pitch Improvement Programme

The FA Facilities & Investment Team are working in partnership with the Institute of Groundmanship to develop a grass pitch maintenance service which can be utilised by grassroots football clubs, with the simple aim of improving the quality of grass pitches.

The Pitch Improvement Programme is a key focus for The FA over the next 4-years, as such it was deemed appropriate to secure two commercial partners to support the roll-out and growth in line with the companies’ aspirations. The two partners are;

Redexim Charterhouse and Rigby Taylor who will assist in the roll out by supplying FA affiliated grassroots clubs with discounted products and materials and also support the training workshops.

Both companies have agreed a partnering schedule of rates with The FA to support the programme. Please note it has been agreed that these rates will be made available to ALL CFA’s, FA affiliated clubs and leagues (not PL or FL), not solely to those clubs/organisations receiving a PIP visit and report.

The need for this service is more relevant now than ever, given the current economic times and the pressures facing grass roots football. The key principles behind the service are to provide football clubs with advice and practical solutions on a number of areas.

As a County FA we will be working with the IOG South West Pitch Advisor, Rob Donnelly to provide visits to local clubs in the county. To qualify for a visit a club will need to own their own site or be responsible for maintenance of the grass pitches

Programme Process

1. Clubs submit an Expression of Interest Form if they wish to receive a visit, via this link Somerset FA or the Pitch Advisor may select/target a number of clubs depending on the availability of the Pitch Advisor.
2. We will coordinate the time and date of the visit in conjunction with the selected club.
3. We will notify the Pitch Advisor of visits, including contact details.
4. A site visit is carried out, with the Somerset County FA Development Manager in attendance if possible.
5. A report is produced by the Pitch Advisor with a copy for the club and the County FA (refer to the Report Form template attached below)
6. Club follows recommendations.
7. Feedback sought from club following an agreed timescale, based on the recommendations provided by the Pitch Advisor
8. Should the maintenance recommendations not result in an improved pitch or surface, there may be some further improvement work required on site and the club can discuss funding options with the Somerset County FA and The FA.

Cost & Payment

The cost for the visit and report is £100 per visit. If a club holds the FA Charter Standard Club award, the Somerset County FA will contribute 50% towards these costs (Total Cost £50). Clubs will be required to pay the Somerset County FA the remainder, following receipt of an invoice.

Groundsmen Workshops

As part of the new Pitch Improvement Programme, the South West Pitch advisor will run a number of workshops throughout the season on a variety of topics.

3G Pitches

From the 2014/15 season, if a 3G pitch is not on The FA's approved list then it cannot be used for affiliated football matches. The list continues to be added to as more 3G pitches are tested. The link below is to The FA's official register. Just select Somerset from the drop down box (next to County FA heading) to see the pitches that have passed the 3G pitch test within the county. Click here to browse the register.

For more information, please contact Brendan Dix on 01458 832359.

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