The funding is being awarded as grants from the Foundation’s Club Preparation Fund. This has been created to help clubs prepare their buildings to safely reopen in line with Government guidance around hygiene and social distancing, and The FA’s plans for a ‘phased return’ that were announced on 18 July.
97 grants were awarded to clubs across Somerset totalling £48,500; this will benefit 824 local football teams across the county.
These Club Preparation Fund grants will go towards football sites to satisfy the extra hygiene measures that Government guidance requires. This includes:
• Installing hygiene facilities, such as hand sanitiser dispensers, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and waste bins
• Modifications, such as safety screening, contactless payment systems and signage
• Facility maintenance work, such as repairing hand basins and hot water provision
• Professional inspections that may be necessary due to the prolonged period of closure resulting from the pandemic – including inspections of water quality, gas and ventilation.
The investment follows the Foundation’s Pitch Preparation Fund that awarded £7m to 2,902 organizations across the country. This is enabling over 9,000 football pitches to be made match-fit, and is benefiting more than 33,000 football teams. In Somerset 298 pitches benefitted from £205,000 of funding benefitting 750 teams.
Rob Allan, County Development Manager said: "Somerset FA are delighted with the scale of grants awarded in our County. Despite being a mid-sized County in terms of affiliated football, clubs in Somerset were in the top quarter of total grant received. This is a credit to the fantastic volunteers who run clubs in our County and will mean that football can return in a safe manner to be enjoyed by all."