The ambitious Beacon of Light project has been handed a funding boost as part of a multi-million pound grant awarded towards grassroots facility projects across the whole of the North East and Yorkshire.
The Beacon, to be built next to Sunderland Aquatic Centre, will be the first of its kind in the UK, housing education and training facilities with an indoor football pitch and more pitches outside.
The striking cube-shaped Beacon, which will welcome over 300,000 visitors through it’s doors each year, has been included in the latest round of funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund which also assists in the financial cost of building or refurbishing facilities from floodlit third generation (3G) football pitches and changing pavilions to smaller grants for vital improvements of replacing unsafe goalposts and purchasing maintenance equipment.
This grant represents a huge step in improving access to sport for youngsters and adults across the North East and will have a massive impact on the growth and development of grassroots sport in our region.
We are incredibly proud to have been awarded this grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund and it will directly contribute to establishing the Beacon of Light as a nationally renowned centre for sport.
Sport Minister Tracey Crouch added: “Improving grassroots football facilities is vital to help us get more people involved in the game and nurture our future football stars. This latest investment from the Premier League, FA and Government, will benefit community football across the country in locations that need it most.
Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore added: “The Football Foundations underlying strategy of delivering quality community facilities where they are needed most and can be best utilised is something the Premier League has long-supported.
“Creating opportunities for young people to play football and get involved with other sports is incredibly important to developing a taste for sport and exercise and all the ancillary benefits that brings to life. It also forges stronger bonds between communities and the professional football clubs sustained by them.”
The award winning Foundation of Light was established in 2001 and uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire. One of the largest and leading sports charities in the UK, it has an excellent track record of working with 40,000 course registrants every year.
Structurally and financially independent of Sunderland AFC, the Foundation has been the architect of its own success raising over £4 million every year to deliver life changing and pioneering programmes across the region.