New floodlights to brighten up the Sports Barn

Messenger Newspapers: Bernie Jones, chief executive of Trafford Community Leisure Trust, and Kate Green MP Bernie Jones, chief executive of Trafford Community Leisure Trust, and Kate Green MP

All day use of the Old Trafford Sports Barn will soon become a reality with the news that Trafford Community Leisure Trust has been awarded a grant of £15,270 by Barclays to fund new floodlights at the Barclays Spaces for Sports facility.

Barclays Spaces for Sports is a community sports programme which uses the power of sport to help young people develop the confidence and skills they need, and revitalise disadvantaged communities. As part of this programme, Barclays has partnered with the Football Foundation to develop 200 community facilities across the UK, which cater for a wide range of sports.

The grant will contribute towards the installation of new floodlights at the facility which will help overcome current problems with poor lighting at the site, and so allowing for better evening and winter use of the facility.

On top of that, the hard courts will be remarked and posts and nets will be installed allowing tennis to be played at the facility. The netting surrounding the artificial grass pitch football arena will be increased, stopping balls being lost in neighbouring properties and causing damage. The rest of the funding will be used to train new tennis coaches who will help establish tennis as a regular sport at the site, with a particular focus on getting more women and girls participating.

The new funding for the centre follows previous grants totalling £345,000 from Barclays since 2006, and £300,000 from the Football Foundation that were used to build the facility and deliver a range of programmes.

Bernie Jones, chief executive at the Trafford Community Leisure Trust, said: “We are delighted to once again receive support from Barclays, who not only funded the Sports Barn in the first place, but have continued to support the Trust operationally since the Sports Barn was opened in 2006.

“This latest grant will ensure that the quality of lighting meets the standards of the 3G pitch and the introduction of tennis will enable us to market the facility to even more local people. Old Trafford Sports Barn has had a tremendous impact on the local community over the past eight years and this has only been possible as a result of the generosity of the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme. On behalf of the users of the Sports Barn I would like to thank Barclays and the Football Foundation.”

Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston commented on the new grant: “The new Barclays grant will benefit the local community hugely, offering sporting opportunities even in the darker winter months. I am particularly pleased with the focus on trying to increase female participation in tennis as the site already does fantastic work on this in its other programmes.”

Paulette Cohen, Head of Global Programmes, Barclays, said: “We are committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of all Barclays Spaces for Sports sites and the additional funding that Old Trafford Sports Barn has received is a strong example of this. This is one of over 200 UK sites where we work with our partner, the Football Foundation, offering financial and non-financial assistance so they can continue to have a positive impact in the local community.”

Experts at the Football Foundation work closely with each site to identify their needs, and provide practical help such as advice on how to draw up new business and marketing plans and establish new local partnerships.

The Barclays Spaces for Sports Programme is part of Barclays’ wider commitment to invest £250m to help five million disadvantaged young people around the world, by 2015, develop the skills they need to fulfil their potential.

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