A new changing pavilion at Wedmore Playing Fields in Somerset is set to enhance the playing experience of a thriving sporting community. The doors were officially opened to the new building by the Wedmore Playing Fields Management Committee (WPFMC) recently (Sunday 14 July 2019).
This project was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.
After netting a £421,425 grant from the Football Foundation, work begun on the site in September 2018. The pavilion has been built to meet the existing demand for the two high quality grass pitches which were improved thanks to a £99,203 grant from the Football Foundation in 2013.
The new pavilion comprises of four team changing rooms, two officials’ changing room, large clubroom, kitchen, bar, spectator toilets and storage space. The facilities will ensure that partner club, The Isle of Wedmore FC, meet the requirements of an FA Charter Standard Community Club.
The Isle of Wedmore FC anticipate that the new pavilion will support the growth of eight new teams at the club over the next five years, taking the total to 33 teams. Focus on increased female participation will be supported by four new female teams, supporting an additional 60 girls playing competitive football at the club.
England wicketkeeper and World Cup hero, Jos Buttler, grew up in the local area and the new pavilion will also benefit players at Wedmore Cricket Club which was founded in 1850.
Ian Monson chairman of the WPFMC said: Many thanks to Brendan Dix from Somerset FA for officially opening the Pavilion, but a huge thank you to the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and the Football Foundation as without their support throughout, the project would have never happened.
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 Somerset and I am delighted for everyone associated with Wedmore Playing Fields Management Committee.
“This is one example we want to make people in Somerset 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 Somerset 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.”
Photos of the opening available here