600 children are set to benefit from North Derbyshire Youth Football League’s new site. There are also considerable benefits for the local community.
There are so many benefits to sport, and yet a third of children in England are physically active for less than 30 minutes a day – half the recommended amount. What’s more, children from poorer families tend to do the least amount of exercise.
Grassroots clubs are often vital to helping kids to get more active. North Derbyshire Youth Football League was formed in 1947 as a solution to the lack of organised sports provision around Matlock. The league has grown exponentially over the last 75 years, with hundreds of children now playing in league matches every week.
In just over a year, North Derbyshire Youth Football League has grown from 285 teams to 323 teams and expects to increase even further. To do so, it needs more pitches. The league rents its other sites but wanted to buy its new venue to give it greater control and security. It found a suitable site but struggled to access finance. After being turned down by numerous loan providers, chairman Andy Bagshaw was becoming despondent. Luckily, he found the Reach Fund, Co-operative & Community Finance and Charity Bank. Together, they provided the extra finance the league needed to buy the site.
The nine-acre venue will enable the league to create 10 new pitches. North Derbyshire Youth Football League also plans to renovate the existing semi-derelict building on the site, to transform it into a café, head office and function rooms. The league expects around 600 children to play football on the new site each week. Most will be accompanied by at least one parent, so the café should prove a lucrative extra source of income.
Along with the social and physical benefits to the players, the new venue will help to bring a disused site back into use. The local residents’ association are already planning to use the building for a number of activities, from craft sessions to dementia group meetings. North Derbyshire Youth Football League is going to dedicate an area of the site for dogwalkers and also wants to create a small park for the community to use.
“For the first time since the league started in 1947, we’ll have somewhere to call home. Owning a venue gives us total control of our future. But if it wasn't for Charity Bank and Co-operative & Community Finance, this wouldn't have happened. Both were a complete contrast to the other banks. It was such a breath of fresh air to speak to people who understood what we were trying to do, genuinely cared and wanted to help.”Andy Bagshaw, Chairman and Treasurer
About Charity Bank
Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,100 loans totalling over £400m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.
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