South Wilts Girls Grammar School is among 148 local sports projects to secure a share of £9 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund. Since 2011, Inspired Facilities has been helping breathe new life into tired community sports facilities and converting existing buildings into venues suitable for grassroots sport.
South Wilts Girls Grammar School will receive £64,650 of National Lottery funding to help toward the much needed replacement of their all-weather running track. The total cost of the refurbishment is £142,150, with £50,000 coming from Wiltshire Council, £7,500 from City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club, £15,000 from Salisbury Area Board, and £5,000 from Salisbury Local Youth Network.
Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £102 million into more than 1,920 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.
“It’s great to see South Wilts Grammar School join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”
Head teacher, Michele Chilcott, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can replace the existing track, which is in major need of repair. This project also looks to further improve the access for the community to the facility, working closely with the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club.”
Jonathon Seed, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for leisure said: “I am delighted we have been able to help with this project and safeguard the future of a well-used sporting facility in the county.
“This will not only benefit the school and the club but also the wider community and we look forward to seeing future generations enjoy a high quality athletics facility.”
Lee Ness, chairman of City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club said: “This is wonderful news for sport in the region.
“We aim to create more training opportunities for runners and athletes of all ages and help ensure that the new facility – one of only two in the whole county that’s accessible to the public – can be used seven days a week.”
“In addition to our own extensive track-based coaching programmes, the club can now look forward to staging athletics events ranging from Wiltshire championships and schools events to fixtures geared for newcomers to the sport.”
Many more communities are set to benefit from the hugely popular fund with the latest round of the Inspired Facilities now open. Community and voluntary organisations, councils and schools can bid for a share of £5 million to help upgrade facilities that can be unattractive, expensive to run and difficult to maintain, and to convert existing non-sporting buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport.
Applying for funding has never been easier. Based on feedback from previous applicants, the Inspired Facilities Fund is now an open programme which means projects can submit applications as soon as they are ready rather than being restricted by a specific deadline. To find out more and bid, visit www.sportengland.org/inspiredfacilities.