The Parklife Venture Deliverd by the Footbal Foundation and Funded by the Footbal Association, the Premier League and Sport England has been a huge success.
McArdle Sport Tec and Partners TigerTurf have been involved in numerous Football Foundation ‘Premier League and FA Facilities Fund’ projects, for example Falmouth School, Dorothy Hyman and Ilkley Town; but we are immensely proud to have built ten out of 20 existing ‘Parklife’ football pitches to date.
The ‘Parklife Programme’ is a five year, £200-million pound investment which was introduced in 2016 by the Football Association, The Premier League and Sport England; which is delivered by the Football Foundation.
Completed Parklife Projects
In total, partners TigerTurf and McArdle Sport Tec have been awarded and completed four out of the eight Parklife hubs opened.
They were both selected for the first Parklife project in Sheffield installing two new artificial football pitches at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground in 2016.
A further Parklife project followed in 2017 for Ealing Council which involved two full-size artificial football pitches at Rectory Park.
In 2018 two further Parklife hubs in Liverpool, built by McArdle Sport Tec and partners TigerTurf, were officially opened: Jericho Lane Playing Fields consisting of two full size artificial pitches and one full size WR Reg 22 artificial rugby pitch completed in November 2018 and Heron Eccles Playing Fields, who opened their new Parklife hub in October 2018, with three new artificial football pitches.
The ‘Parklife Programme’ is still an ongoing venture, and at present a further five Parklife hubs are under construction totalling 15 artificial football pitches to be built.
TigerTurf and McArdle’s have also been awarded the Gunnersbury Park Parklife project and the Northern Area Playing fields for Sunderland Parklife, and McArdle’s are currently on-site at Gunnersbury Park, preparing foundations to install two new synthetic football pitches, having appointed a new groundswork team and newly acquired dozer and digger. Groundworks are also well underway at Northern Area Playing fields, installing a total of three artificial football pitches plus a WR Reg 22 artificial rugby pitch.
What differentiates ‘The Parklife Programme’ to the FA’s the ‘Premier League & FA Facilities Fund’?
The ‘Parklife Programme’ is the creation of new multi-pitch artificial football hubs installed in high demand areas, which typically will have a minimum of two artificial pitches, changing accommodation, and potentially a natural grass pitch.
The aim of the Parklife programme is to create sustainable football facilities contained within hub sites, which differs from traditional football investment steams as the funding partners are keen to see a ‘portfolio approach’* that provides an area-wide solution rather than a one-off site investment. Local authorities managing areas with a population of over 200,000 are invited to access the Parklife programme.
The ‘Premier League & FA Facilities Fund focuses on installing individual pitches in high demand areas. The fund is available to football clubs, schools, local sports associations and councils, providing grants for building new or refurbishment existing grassroots facilities including changing pavilions and artificial pitches.
*A portfolio approach is where Local Authorities develop proposals for multiple (i.e. a minimum of two) Parklife hub sites. The Parklife model is based on sufficient surplus revenue being generated from hub sites to re-invest in the grassroots game which would not be possible at single sites.