Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, and former Premier League referee Peter Walton opened a new £339,505 changing pavilion in Crick on Sunday.
Crick Athletic FC and Crick Parish Council received a £201,123 grant from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund to help pay for the project.
The new sports centre has changing rooms, officials’ rooms, a function room, kitchen, spectator toilet facilities and storage. It replaces prefabricated modular cabin facilities used previously.
Crick Athletic FC currently has 14 teams including Under-7s to Under-18s, a girls’ team, two adult teams and an Under-6s development squad.
Paul Lane, chairman of Crick Athletic FC, said: “Crick Athletic FC has benefited from support from the Football Foundation and Northamptonshire FA over the past four years as the club has developed the new sports facility.
“The support for the new changing rooms from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund has been tremendous and enabled the changing rooms to be constructed. This ongoing support has enabled the club to grow and increase its junior players by 40 per cent as well as introducing girls’ football and walking football and maintaining two adult senior teams.”
Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, said: “I was delighted to officially open the new changing pavilion with former Premier League referee, Peter Walton, at Crick Athletic Football Club. It was a real pleasure to be back on site after I previously visited the club in October 2015.
“The completed works look fantastic, and the facilities will certainly have a big impact on the playing experiences of all 14 Crick AFC teams. With the help of Northamptonshire FA and the Football Foundation, the club can look forward to increasing the number of teams they run thanks to the extensive five-year Football Development Plan.
“Sporting facilities like this one in Daventry are so important to the health and well-being of the country, therefore I must thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and everyone involved with the project, for their hard work in making this changing pavilion a reality.”
Peter Walton, former Premier League referee, said: “The new pavilion at Crick Athletic FC is going to make a significant difference to the experiences of both the players and the officials. Having refereed many grassroots games I know how vital having the correct facilities is to people’s enjoyment of the sport.
“I very much enjoyed opening the facility alongside Chris Heaton-Harris MP, and would like to thank everyone involved with the project for their efforts. I look forward to seeing the club go from strength to strength as a result of this funding.”
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Crick Athletic Football Club and Crick Parish Council to upgrade their changing rooms. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.
“With this funding, provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, we are helping to improve community sports facilities across the country and thereby the playing experience of those who take part. This latest project in Daventry is the latest addition to the inventory of modern community sports sites we are developing that cater for the needs of local people who want to play sport purely for the love if it and to stay healthy.”