The Grass Pitch Maintenance fund provides a six-year tapered grants to help clubs enhance or sustain the quality of their grass pitches.
The fund is a key part of the Football Foundation's Power Up Your Grass Pitch campaign - an ambition to deliver 20,000 quality grass pitches by 2030. Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA (SHCFA) currently has 39 clubs involved in the programme, and it’s not too late for your club or organisation to apply for funding.
All applicants must have the required security of tenure and have received a PitchPower Pitch Assessment Report.
- Grassroots clubs
- Charities (with an annual turnover of less than £500k)
- National League System Clubs Step 1-6 (only for pitches at the site that are used for community football)*
Funding falls into two categories - enhance or sustain. Your PitchPower pitch inspection (a requirement of the grant) will provide you with a Performace Quality Standard (PQS) per pitch - which will help us decide how much funding you'll be eligible for - and a list of maintenance recommendations which you'll need to carry out as part of your grant award. Grants are paid annually for six years but tapered down during that time.
More information on funding can be found here.
The funding provided must be used to carry out the recommendations from your PitchPower Assessment Report. These can include:
- Contractor works e.g. slitting, scarification or decompaction
- Purchasing materials e.g. seed or fertiliser
- Purchasing equipment e.g. Soil Sampler
- Routine maintenance work such as grass cutting and line marking aren't eligible.
Around 75% of clubs engage the works of local contractors who come with a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and specialist equipment. However, some clubs will upskill their own club volunteers. Support is available for club grounds staff through the Grounds Management Association and the Hive Community Learning app.
From a recent survey with our clubs, when asked how much improvement they had seen to their pitches an average rating of 4.2 was given (on a scale of 1-5). The biggest impact that clubs had seen was a reduction in postponements and improvement in the playing surface.
Clubs have engaged in the programme because they wanted better quality playing surfaces for their players, and they're already seeing fantastic results.
“Thicker and healthier grass condition” Dronfield Town, NE Derbyshire
“Playing surface is ten times better than before” – Shepley Football Club, Kirklees
“Improved grass coverage” – North Gawber Colliery FC, Barnsley
“Playability and recovery” – Handsworth Junior Sporting Club, Sheffield
By following ‘PitchPower’ recommendations clubs are sourcing the right materials, purchasing the right equipment and carrying out pitch maintenance at the right times of the year.
“We have only cancelled one weekend since the introduction of the programme, this was due to frozen pitches, so there has been significant improvement of pitch drainage” Rockware Sports & Social Club.
Before you apply, contact our Football Development Manager Sarah Wood to get support with your application. You will need to complete a pitch inspection using the Football Foundation’s PitchPower App prior to applying.
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