Investment of over £400,000 has helped Blyth Spartan Juniors FC to build a new all-weather floodlit pitch so they can support more young people to access activities in the area.
The funding is blended investment of £348,363 from the North East Social Investment Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures and £148,250 Emergency Grant from Access – the Foundation for Social Investment.
The new facilities will provide the club with all-year, all-weather daytime and evening facilities which increases their capacity to support children to access football and other activities, and provides the club with an income stream so they can sustain and grow their activities and local impact.
Set up in 2004, the Club now has 27 junior teams, including a thriving involvement of girls. The Club also offers a range of activities including afterschool, community development, early years (Little Spartans), skills schools, summer camps, and specialised activities such as working with local disability charities.
Keith Whisson from Blyth Spartans Juniors said, “The club’s role is not only to encourage and nurture football talent in Blyth, but also use the positive impact of sport to tackle some of the deep-rooted issues facing the town, and help improve the physical and mental well-being of young people, their confidence and their pride in where they live.
This investment means we are able to complete the first development of our future plans, the new all-weather pitch hugely reduces the potential of having to cancel fixtures and activities, and means we will have much more use all year round. We’re excited to be able to expand to support more of the community and young people in the future.
We would like to put on record our thanks to Northstar Ventures for supporting us in this commercial development and Howard Russell Construction for the speed in which the pitch was built over the summer meaning we did not lose any playing time when the new season kicked off.”
Paul Barrett, Investment Manager, Northstar Ventures, said, “We were really impressed with Blyth Spartans’ future vision as well as the huge positive impact they have already had since they were established. Investing in this new facility gives them the opportunity to secure their future, become more sustainable and ultimately support even more young people.
“Like all sports clubs, Blyth Spartans Juniors have been severely affected by lockdowns, and the Emergency Grant from Access – the Foundation for Social Investment – has ensured they are financially resilient and ready to face any further covid-related challenges.”