Playing fields encourage children, youth and adults to get fitter, and become more community-focused
Outdoor playing fields are vital in our country so that all children, young people and adults can be encouraged to engage in games and sport. These facilities not only help to promote a more healthy lifestyle, but they also serve as a focal point to build community and team spirit, and give people a greater sense of personal pride, tolerance, and appreciation of the local environment.
In the inner cities in particular, well used grass and artificial turf pitches (ATPs) can bring impoverished communities together, help reduce crime, racial tension, drug abuse, and antisocial behaviour. Giving some of the one million under 24-year-old unemployed the chance to play games and join a team – rather than a gang – can give them a real challenge in life and help future employment prospects.
The loss of nearly a third of the UK’s public playing fields over the last 20 years has left whole communities with nowhere to play outdoor sport.
Nearly a third of the UK’s community playing fields have been lost over the last twenty years, and this has left whole cities, as well as many towns and villages, with a lack of community playing fields.
Many of the remaining 20,000 community playing fields have fallen into disrepair, are not properly maintained, or are under-used, because the voluntary groups and clubs that manage them are desperately short of money and struggling to keep going.
The Playing Fields Legacy Fund gives grants to the voluntary groups and clubs that manage community playing fields, so their pitches and facilities can be revived and well used.
We can also provide advice and training that will help these voluntary groups make professional applications for funding for their playing fields from public sources such as Sport England, the Football Foundation, and governing bodies of sport, along with advice on how to gain support from and involve local business.
With our help, community playing fields can be revived, and new pitches established to meet demand.
With our help and ongoing advice, local groups will be able to generate enough future funding to keep their community playing fields and buildings in good condition so they can be used more often, and by more teams and clubs, for the longer term. This will ensure they remain a focal point for community sport and community spirit that will benefit potentially thousands of children and adults in the local area for years to come.