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7th June, 2012

Changes Made to Football Stadia Improvement Fund

The Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) has announced a change in eligibility criteria, meaning clubs can apply for a higher percentage of financial support over a wider range of projects.

Funded with £6m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.

The key changes at Non-League level that will impact clubs down to Step 7 include:

* The Step 2 ceiling has been increased from £150,000 to £250,000.

* Clubs can now apply for financial support of up to 50% of the total project cost for Steps 1 to 5 and 70% for Steps 6 and 7. Previously percentages varied starting at 20%, and the change will be of particular benefit to the higher levels of the Non-League Pyramid.

* Hospitality areas have been made eligible throughout the Pyramid covering all types of food and drink outlets, from simple tea-bars to function suites, in order to provide greater revenue generation opportunities.

* Grants are now available for several items such as players' and officials' protected walkways, press seating, team dug-outs, pitch maintenance equipment and ball stop netting, which were all previously ineligible.

Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, said: “We want to make it easier for lower-league football to access stadium funding. We’re always revising the criteria, continuously looking at the funding, examining how much we’ve got and where the applications for funding are coming from. The Executive were aware that in these straitened times it was becoming more problematic for clubs to generate funds, so they put proposals together which the Board was happy to support.

“These changes are for the long-term good of football. It will be easier for clubs to get hold of funding. What that will hopefully mean is that more facilities will improve and more players will want to play and, just as important, more people will be able watch and generate valuable resources for their clubs. There is £6m there annually for people to access and we want as many to benefit from it as possible. Grassroots is fundamental to football because the wider the base the better it will be at the top. The English pyramid is the envy of the world and programmes like the FSIF will ensure that this continues to be the case.”

Since it was launched in 2000 the FSIF has awarded around £100m worth of grants towards stadia improvement projects.

Click here to visit the FSIF page to find out further information.
Click here to download the FSIF eligibility criteria poster.

(Story Source: Football Foundation)

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