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Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club among clubs in Hertfordshire and Essex to benefit from pitch fund launched by Premier League, the FA and Football Foundation

Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club will give its Friedberg Avenue facilities a spruce up after being awarded £5,000 by the Pitch Preparation Fund.

The club, which promotes football for all ages and abilities within the community and is one of the biggest in the country with over 800 playing members, received the joint highest cash award in Hertfordshire.

The Pitch Preparation Fund is part of a £7 million scheme launched by the Premier League, the FA and the Government's Football Foundation to support clubs facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus crisis.

BSCFC under-12 Athletic (36656642)
BSCFC under-12 Athletic (36656642)

It is providing grants to clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams during this difficult period and helping them to get their pitches ready for when it is safe to play football again, following government advice.

Bishop's Stortford and Bishop's Stortford Swifts have received boosts to the tune of £1,500 and £2,500 respectively. Sawbridgeworth Town have been given £2,500 while Stansted and Albury have both secured £1,500 apiece.

BSCFC chairman Grant Hegley said: "I'm absolutely delighted BSCFC have received funding through the Football Foundation's Pitch Preparation Fund.

BSCFC under-18 girls
BSCFC under-18 girls

"I have discussed with our groundsman how the grant money will be spent and our aim is to get our pitches at our Friedberg Avenue facility match fit.

"This will give us the best possible playing surface on behalf of our girls and boys for when it's safe for football to return."

Nearly 3,000 clubs and organisations across the country have successfully applied for funding. It means 9,588 football pitches can be improved, benefiting 33,153 football teams in the grassroots, non-League and women's game, as well as every club in the Welsh Cymru Premier League.

"Our national game can't take place without playing surfaces being in good condition, so this £7 million of investment provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government is an important helping hand for clubs across the country to get their pitches match fit for when matches are allowed to start up again," said the Football Foundation's interim chief executive Robert Sullivan.

BSCFC under-sevens (36656706)
BSCFC under-sevens (36656706)

Mark Bullingham, the FA's chief executive, added: "The positive response to this initiative across the football community has been very encouraging and we remain committed to supporting clubs through this uncertain period.

"This fund will help clubs to carry out vital work and prepare pitches for when it's safe for the game to resume."

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