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Local Football Facility Plan Cheshire West and Chester

Full report

Introduction

01

This is the Local Football Facility Plan (LFFP) for Cheshire West & Chester. It was prepared by Knight, Kavanagh and Page (KKP) with support from local partners, including:

  • Active Cheshire
  • Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Cheshire County FA
  • Chester FC Community Trust
  • Football Foundation
  • Sport England

What is the goal?

Every local area in the Country will have a LFFP to enable investment in football facilities to be accurately targeted.

Who is behind this?

The Football Association, the Premier League and Sport England (on behalf of Government). This partnership finances the National Football Facility Strategy (NFFS) and commissions the Football Foundation to deliver it.

What is the purpose of this plan?

The national funding partners have significantly increased investment to accelerate efforts to deliver more and better football facilities for the grassroots game. The purpose of this plan is to identify the priority projects for potential investment in Cheshire West and Chester.

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Why invest in football facilities?

As the nation’s most popular team sport, football has the power to contribute positively to vital social outcomes and health priorities. To maximise this power, facilities have to be welcoming environments to attract first-time users and repeat visits, whether for informal, recreational or competitive football.

Research clearly and continually demonstrates the positive impact high-quality football facilities, in the right locations, can have on participation and enjoyment. Latent demand exists, but facility quantity and quality has to ‘step up’ if football is to reach out to everyone.

How are we going to do it?

£1.3billion has been spent by football and Government since 2000 to enhance existing football facilities and build new ones. However, more is needed if football and Government’s shared objectives for participation, individual well-being and community cohesion are to be achieved.

Nationally, direct investment will be increased – initially to £69 million per annum from football and Government (a 15% increase on recent years). Locally, the work has already started* - this LFFP will guide the allocation of 90% of national funds and forge stronger partnerships with local stakeholders to develop key sites. This, together with local match-funding will deliver over one billion pounds of investment into football facilities over the next 10-years.

What are the priorities for investment?

This LFFP, with guidance from local partners, has developed a list of high level projects for potential investment. Each is aligned to the investment priorities set out in the National Football Facilities Strategy, which include:

  • 1,000 new 3G football turf pitches (FTPs): in a mix of sizes and settings, dependent upon local needs. All aimed at enhancing the quality of the playing experience.
  • 20,000 improved natural-turf pitches: to help address drop-off due to a poor playing experience.
  • 1,000 new changing pavilions / clubhouses: all linked to priority sites.
  • Small-sided facilities: to grow the small-sided game for teams & leagues, recreational and informal play.

What outcomes will be achieved?

The priority projects for potential investment identified in this plan will help develop a sustainable network of quality facilities to drive participation across all parts of the game. Central to this are five key success factors: quality, inclusivity, sustainability, engagement and usage. Each identified project takes account of these factors.

How should this plan be used?

This LFFP will, in effect, be the go-to document for football facility investment in Cheshire West and Cheshire.

Whilst it identifies priority projects for potential investment, it does not guarantee the success of future funding applications. Each project must still follow an application process to show how it will deliver key participation outcomes, become a quality & sustainable facility and demonstrate suitable match-funding.

When each project is in a position to proceed, the Football Foundation will determine a suitable timeframe to submit a grant application and pre-application support will be provided by Cheshire County FA and the Football Foundation.

Set a 10-Year vision to transform local football facilities
Identify priority projects to be delivered
Act as an investment portfolio for projects that require funding
Be updated up on a regular basis

How should this plan NOT be used?

A LFFP is an investment portfolio of priority projects for potential investment - it is not a detailed demand and supply analysis of all pitch provision in a local area. It cannot be used as a replacement for a Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) and it will not be accepted as an evidence base for site change of use or disposal.

A LFFP will however build on available/existing local evidence and strategic plans and may adopt relevant actions from a PPS and/or complement these with additional investment priorities.

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Cheshire West and Chester

02

Local area

Cheshire West & Chester is located in the North West region. Its major urbanised areas consists of three towns and a City; City of Chester, Ellesmere Port, Northwich and Winsford. The highest profile (and level) football club in the area is Chester FC, which plays at Step 2 (level 6) in the football pyramid.

The current population of the Authority (ONS 2017 Mid-Year Estimate) is 337,986. This is expected to rise to 354,793 by 2039.

28.9% of the Cheshire West & Chester’s population is within NS SEC classification 6-8 (lower socio-economic groups). This is slightly below the national average (30.6%).

Cheshire West & Chester's ethnic composition is primarily White (97.4%). This is significantly above the national average (85.4%).

The proportion of Cheshire West & Chester's population represented by the BAME community is 2.6%. This is significantly below the national average (14.6%).

Demographics

  • 337,986 Current population (2017)
  • 354,793 Projected population (2039)
  • 33rd most deprived out of 39 local authorities in the region
  • 192nd most deprived out of 326 local authorities in England

Ethnicity data

  • Asian (1.24%)
  • Black (0.28%)
  • Mixed (0.93%)
  • Other (0.16%)
  • White (97.4%)
24%
27%
26%

% of people that are inactive

  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Region
  • England

ONS data and Sport England Active lives survey 2016/17

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Local partners

Local Authority

Cheshire West & Chester Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2015-2020) commits it to four key priorities which are; Starting Well, Living Well, Ageing Well and Promoting Good Mental Health and Wellbeing. Its stated vision is to ‘reduce health inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of people in the borough, enabling residents to live more fulfilling independent and healthy lives’.

The Council also has a Health Improvement Strategy (2018- 2022) which consists of an Eat Well Be Active framework, which is based on several key Chester West and Chester partnership reports, including the Physical Activity Growth Strategy developed in 2017 by Active Cheshire. The purpose of the strategy is to tackle physical inequalities and improve the lives of residents.

The Authority Playing Pitch Strategy was produced in 2016 and updated in 2018. The key findings and stated overarching priorities are to: Increase the stock of 3G pitches in the Borough, improve the quality of grass pitch provision and to improve/create changing provision where most needed.

Cheshire West & Chester Council’s Play Strategy aims to support the provision of high quality play and outdoor youth facilities to meet the needs and aspirations of the community, to ensure play spaces are accessible and are provided where most needed, and to ensure that demand is met.

County Football Association

Cheshire West & Chester is covered by Cheshire County FA. It provides governance and development support to all aspects of local football including coaches, referees, volunteers, clubs and leagues; supporting football for all. The County FA has a designated facilities investment lead officer who works to ensure the right facilities are located in the right locations.

Cheshire County FA announced its Vision 2020 project in spring 2018. This project will invest circa £70 million into the region at a site in Northwich. Plans for the site include:

  • Two FIFA standard grassmaster hybrid pitches
  • 1000 seater stadium
  • Two 3G pitches
  • Six grass pitches

As the plans are at an early stage the site proposals do not appear in each of the investment sections but the project does appear within the priority project list (Appendix A).

Football Foundation

The Regional Engagement Manager and Regional Technical Project Manager at the Football Foundation work collaboratively with the County FA to provide pre-application support to priority projects for potential investment.

Football Foundation Investment

19 Total grants
  • £7,233,953 Total project cost
  • £3,705,877 Total grant value
  • 14 Sites improved
  • 8 New 3G FTPs
  • 8 Changing rooms / pavilions
  • 35 Grass pitches improved

See Football foundation website for more info (http://www.footballfoundation.org.uk/impact/where-our-money-goes)

Sport England

Has a network of planning managers who have a statutory role in the planning system to protect playing fields and provide consultation responses to planning applications relating to sporting facilities . They also play a key role in strategic planning for sports facilities, providing advice and support to local authorities to assess need for facilities in their local area.

Professional Club Community Organisations (CCOs)

These continue to expand and enhance their range of community delivery, offering a variety of programmes and services to support local communities (sporting and non-sporting). Chester FC Community Trust runs a variety of health, education, engagement, football and sporting activities within the local area. .

Local leisure operator

Brio Leisure is the key leisure operator in Cheshire West & Chester. It currently operates 11 venues including key strategic pitch sites such as Christleton Sports Centre, Ellesmere Port Sports Village and Northwich Memorial Court.

Local consultation

This has taken place with a broad and diverse set of community groups in Cheshire West & Chester. A total of 31 individuals (representing 24 local organisations) were consulted. These include:

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Chester FC Community Trust
  • Frodsham Juniors FC
  • Upton Juniors FC
  • Brio Leisure

(See Appendix B for full list of consultees)

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Local football

Clubs

There are over 91,000 community football teams in England, spread over an expansive network of clubs and leagues. Cheshire West and Chester has a total of 797 teams, which is higher than local areas of a similar size.

The FA is investing to support clubs both on and off the pitch which includes an aim to have a qualified FA coach with every youth team by 2020/21. In addition, it will support 1,000 clubs to create full player pathways from youth to adult teams and develop 150 community football hubs with male and female pathways, disability and recreational playing opportunities.

Over the last 10-years there has been a significant national increase in the number of large multi-team football clubs. In Cheshire West and Chester 28 clubs have more than 10 registered teams. The largest of these (based upon 2017-18 affiliation data) are:

  • Vauxhall Motors FC 38
  • Neston Nomads 33
  • Upton Juniors FC 32
  • Tarvin Athletic FC 30
  • Chester Nomads 28
  • AFC Waverton 27
  • Chester & Wirral AFL 25
  • Newton Athletic Youth 23
  • Frodsham Juniors 22

Affiliated Teams

797 Teams
  • 169 Adult male teams
  • 8 Adult female teams
  • 269 Youth male teams
  • 63 Youth female teams
  • 45 Disability teams
  • 243 Mini-soccer teams

The FA Whole Game System- season 2017/18

Leagues

38 leagues operate across Cheshire West and Chester. They offer competitive opportunities for many different players, including women and girls, disability, youth and adults. Leagues range from grassroots, colleges, disability specific and youth and adult leagues across the pyramid.

Cheshire West and Chester's largest local leagues (2017-18) include:

  • Chester & District Junior Football League 195 teams play home and away fixtures
  • Mid Cheshire Youth Football League 157 teams play home and away fixtures
  • Eastham & District Junior League 78 teams play home and away fixtures
  • Cheshire Girls Football League 71 teams play at 2 central venue sites
  • Chester & Wirral Football League 67 teams play home and away fixtures and at central venue across multiple sites
  • Cheshire Ability Counts (Disability) 24 teams play at central venue
  • Chester & District Sunday League 20 teams play home and away fixtures
  • West Cheshire League 13 teams play home and away fixtures

*Team numbers for teams playing in CWAC not total league numbers per league

The County FA reports that there is low level cross boundary migration in Cheshire West and Chester due to teams migrating outwards to leagues and competitions in neighbouring local authority areas and other County FA areas

Disability football

There are 9.4million people in England with a long-standing limiting disability, illness or condition which equates to 18% of the population – almost one in five. Football playing opportunities should be flexible, inclusive and accessible for everyone, whatever their level of ability. This could entail inclusion in mainstream activity or teams / sessions specifically for people with a disability.

In Cheshire West and Chester there are 45 football teams / sessions specifically for people with a disability. It is a priority of the County FA to grow this provision. For talented players the FA run Regional Centres and England national squads.

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Women and girls

The FA has big ambitions for the female game and aims to double levels of participation by 2020. To achieve this requires a combined effort across four pathways: education, recreation, competition and talent.

Education environments have a huge impact on the first experience of football for young girls. This pathway can offer many opportunities for females of all ages to develop and grow a lifelong interest in football.

FA Wildcats girls football centres provide the first step on the recreational pathway, the programme provides girls aged five to eleven with regular opportunities to play football in a fun and engaging environment. Cheshire West and Chester has six FA Wildcats girls football centres and the priority is to grow this activity.

At 60, CWAC ’s number of female teams is higher than local areas of a similar size. The County FA’s priority is to support existing clubs to grow and encourage more clubs to develop playing opportunities for females. The local girls league is the Cheshire Girls League and matches are played on central venues basis. The league is expected to grow its provision in future years. The local adult female league is the Cheshire Women's and Youth football League and matches are played on a home and away and the league is expected to grow its provision in future years.

For talented players, the most local FA Regional Talent Clubs (RTC) are at Liverpool, Everton, Shrewsbury, Manchester United, Manchester City and Stoke City which are located across the North West . Higher level talent pathway opportunities are also provided regionally and nationally by the FA, culminating in the England Women’s national squads. The most local Women’s Super League team is Liverpool Ladies and Everton Ladies FC which provide player pathway opportunities for gifted and talented female players and a spectator interest for fans.

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Small-sided football

Many different types of small-sided football are played in England, from teams and leagues to recreational and informal. It is an established and important part of the modern game

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Small-sidedteams & leagues are organised and competitive activities; typically with players registered to clubs and affiliated to leagues and their County FAs. Examples include Futsal and local small-sided leagues running at venues such as sports halls, 3G FTPs or small-sided 3G centres.

Key local providers include

  • Powerplay- Northwich
  • Soccer sixes -Hartford High School , Leftwich , Winsford Academy, Vauxhall Sports Centre, Ellesmere Port Sports village
  • Leisure Leagues - Cheshire County Sports Club, Chester Catholic High School, Sir John Deanes College – Northwich

Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced, small sided team game that is widely played across the world. Typically it’s played on an indoor surface with hockey-sized goals and a size 4 football with reduced ball bounce. It is the FA’s aim to ensure Futsal is available across the country.

There are currently two futsal teams in Cheshire West and Chester that play in the BUCS League at key site locations including University of Chester. It is a priority for the County FA to grow Futsal for youth players

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Recreational football

Recreational football is played where facilities are typically booked and there might be someone to help organise. Examples include FA Just Play sessions, walking football and casual pitch hire for small-sided match play.

There are currently no FA Just Play Centres currently in Cheshire West and Chester. Walking football sessions are delivered by a range of community organisation such as Football League Community Trusts , community grassroots club and independent associations and groups. Walking football and Just Play has been prioritised by the county for further growth and development. Other local recreational football programmes include informal turn and play are delivered by a range of organisations such as pro-club community scheme activity Chester FC , NWFA (Frodsham), and others. Casual bookings where users who play on a turn up and play basis are available at other sites across the area

Recreational women's football sessions and Mums football take place in Chester and Frodsham with these and many of other county wide groups now playing in a festival competition the Inspire league that runs at central venue Moss farm in Northwich on a monthly basis.

Informal football

Informal football is played in local parks and green spaces – it is free, open access and often played spontaneously (normal clothing is worn). Common examples include a kick-about at a local park or on a multi-use games area (MUGA). Informal football is played across the whole of Cheshire West & Chester, particular in isolated villages and towns where there is not dedicated football provision i.e. 3G FTPs.

Summary

The key strengths of local football in Cheshire West and Chester include flexi 11s, women and girls, youth football provision and it is recommend that this is sustained and also encouraged to grow further. However, gaps in provision do exist in mini soccer girls at U7,8 , and for youth U17/18platyer in Chester

It is therefore recommended that the future football development priorities for Cheshire West and Chester are:

  1. Female growth in foundation age from U7
  2. Continued expansion of the Flexi 11’s
  3. Youth futsal provision
  4. Continued expansion of Cheshire Girls league development
  5. Minimum operating standards for grassroots youth football leagues
  6. Recreational alternatives such as just play and walking football
  7. Increased accessibility to disability football in grassroots clubs

The facilities required to assist this are now set out in the Assets and Opportunities section.

Additionally, each priority project that progresses to a funding application via the Football Foundation will produce a detailed ‘site development plan’ specifying all football development activity, usage and key partner engagement.

Assets and Opportunities

03

This section reviews existing football facility assets in Cheshire West and Chester. It identifies current issues and presents opportunities for improvements, including a list of priority projects for potential investment.

Local assets and opportunities have been reviewed inline with four investment priorities:

  1. 3G FTPs
  2. Improved grass pitches
  3. Changing room pavilions / clubhouses
  4. Small-sided facilities

To ensure a consistent and high quality approach, each local area has been reviewed applying a standard approach, supplemented by input from consultation with local partners and stakeholder organisations.

While each investment priority is reviewed individually, it is understood that they can be inter-reliant; account is, thus, taken of these potential connections.

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3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs)

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Improved Grass Pitches

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Changing room pavilions/ clubhouses

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Small-sided facilities

3G Football Turf pitches (FTPs)

04

3G FTPs are a high quality and indispensable part of modern football facilities; their impact cannot be underestimated. In recent years the industry has seen major innovations and improvements to artificial surfaces (and sports lighting). This has created playing surfaces that replicate a good standard natural turf pitch whilst significantly increasing levels of use (x20). All FTPs must have sports lighting to achieve this.

The high quality, consistent playing surface is the ideal environment to play the game and for young people to learn. With regular maintenance programmes, FTPs can be heavily used all year round with no decline in quality. They almost completely negate annoying fixture cancellations during winter months, helping football to be a key part of a regular physical activity habit.

High capacity levels offer a great opportunity to embrace all formats and engage all participants. A full-sized 3G caters for an average of 1,200 participants per week and is suitable for various location types. That means being fully inclusive to all sections of the community, with a particular focus on under-represented groups such as women and girls, people with a disability, BAME communities and people from lower socio-economic groups.

The way 3G FTPs are used is rapidly changing; current line-marking systems allow for match play across all formats of football (5v5, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11). This enables significant levels of match-play to be transferred from grass to 3G.

The national ‘Mini Pitch’ programme delivers small 3G FTPs at primary school sites to provide a high quality introduction to football and get children more physically active. While mini pitches are reviewed in this section, they are not included in the demand and supply analysis for 3G FTPs.

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Assets and opportunities

FA data states that there are currently 11 3G FTPs in Cheshire West & Chester; this is a shortfall of seven pitches relative to assessed demand. When accounting for planned developments across the area (outlined below) the shortfall equates to a need for four full size 3G FTPs.

Existing 11v11 3G FTPs in Cheshire West & Chester include:

  • Blacon High School
  • Cheshire County Sports Club
  • Christleton Sports Centre
  • Ellesmere Port Sports Village
  • Hartford High School
  • Moss Farm Leisure Complex
  • University Church of England Academy
  • University of Chester
  • Vauxhall Sports & Social Club (x2)
  • Winsford Academy

Additionally, there is currently one small-sided 3G FTP centre in Chester located at Goals Soccer Centre.

Cheshire County FA announced its Vision 2020 project in spring 2018. This project will invest circa £70 million into the region at a site in Northwich. Plans for the site currently include two 3G FTPs. With plans at an early stage the pitches are not captured in the list below, however the additional pitches are considered in reducing the shortfall of 3G FTPs in the area.

Neston High School has plans to create a full size 3G FTP once its re-build is complete. This will be in addition to the sand-based AGP rather than replacing it. In addition, there will be a 3G FTP provided as part of the Wrexham Road housing development.

All of the 11 pitches are available for community use. Ten are on the FA Register for 3G FTPs (meaning they are quality checked and can be used for football match play). It is strongly recommend that the pitch situated at Chester University (which is not on the FA register) is certified to enable more match play on 3G.

The geographic spread of existing facilities is relatively even within high population density areas. There are facilities / provision gaps in the north and south, although it is recognised that these areas are more rural and, thus more sparsely populated.

Local consultation reveals common issues with a lack of availability in relation to training demand, with some of the larger clubs within Cheshire West & Chester unable to train on 3G FTPs or only able to train at undesirable times.

11 Current 3G FTPs
4 More 3G FTPs required
1 More small-sided 3G FTP required

Priority projects

Five priority projects for potential investment have been identified. Undersupply was calculated using the FA 3G FTP demand and supply model. Each site was endorsed by local partners based on a rationale of good access, high population, geographic spread, success and quality of existing facilities.

1 - Moss Farm – new floodlit 11v11 3G FTP (to create a double 3G FTP site)

  • Existing facilities – 11v11 FTP, 11v11 AGP, seven adult and seven junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 109 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

2 - Knights Grange Sports Complex – new floodlit 11v11 3G FTP

  • Existing facilities –nine adult and four junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 34 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

3 - Blacon Pitch– new floodlit 11v11 3G FTP

  • Existing facilities – rugby union pitch. Site adjoins to King George V Playing Field which has two adult pitches.
  • Existing users – future home site of Chester FC Community Trust if it can secure long term access.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

4 - Helsby High School – new floodlit 11v11 3G FTP

  • Existing facilities –11v11 FTP, 11v11 AGP, seven adult and seven junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 25 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

5 - Malpas Sports Club – new floodlit 9v9 3G FTP

  • Existing facilities –Two junior pitches, 5v5 AGP; changing provision
  • Existing users – 25 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

3G FTPs - assets and opportunities

Pitchfinder

Improved Grass Pitches

05

Playing fields are one of the most important resources for sport in England. All football players should have the opportunity to play on good quality grass pitches. However, FA data shows that 63% of pitches in England are poor / low standard and 1 in 6 games are cancelled. As such, poor pitch quality is consistently cited as the number one issue for players.

The priority is, therefore, to sustainably improve grass pitch quality across all main pitch owners (local authorities, education establishments and clubs). However, the level of maintenance required to obtain good quality standards is regularly affected by restricted budgets and limited knowledge/ training. Compaction and grass coverage are two key causes of poor quality pitches. Both are commonly treated via a maintenance driven solution (and do not necessarily require costly drainage schemes).

Playing fields are also a valuable resources for informal play and open-access sites are encouraged but, for many, problems such as dog fouling and vandalism mean that they need to be protected with mitigation measures such as fencing.

In many local areas the key challenge is to create a sustainable approach to provide good quality football pitches for the long-term. Many local authorities (78%) intend to increase pitch hire fees in the future. However, many players (63%) believe facilities are already expensive and some (16%) believe prices are prohibitive. A sustainable solution should, therefore, carefully balance pitch quality and affordability.

While the education sector (37%) and local authorities (32%) are still the principal asset owners of grass pitches, clubs / leagues own or maintain an increasing share (currently 25%). Assets and opportunities have been considered across each sector.

Although large (3+ pitch) strategic sites are important and make up much of the project list within the LFFPs, this does not mean that other club, league and community/voluntary sites are not important or eligible for funding. These sites are key to the Football Foundation's Grass Pitch Programme to deliver 20,000 good quality pitches.

For more information click here.

PitchPower

The PitchPower app is the gateway to any grass pitch improvement funding. It is the tool that will allow clubs and organisations to complete pitch inspections and access funds.

If you haven't signed up and completed a PitchPower pitch inspection, you will need to do this before you can apply for the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund.

Learn more by clicking here.

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Assets and opportunities

Currently 38 grass pitch sites in Cheshire West & Chester have three or more full-size pitch equivalents; these contain 148 grass pitches. Of these, nine have three or more full-size pitch equivalents that are identified as being of poor quality.

Norley Road Playing Fields and Barton Stadium do not have three full-size pitch equivalents (or more). They are, however, identified as having a key strategic importance to football so have been included in the below list of priority projects (but not total figures above).

Local consultation shows common issues with poor quality and it is recommended that these are addressed.

38 Key grass pitches sites
11 Sites prioritised for improvement
55 Full-sized pitch equivalents at these sites

Priority projects

11 priority projects for potential investment have been identified. Pitch quality rating was evidenced by the PPS and qualified by local partners. Due to significant number of grass pitch sites in Cheshire West & Chester, not all sites have been put forward for investment at this point. The Plan prioritises sites which accommodate the highest levels of demand or were identified as having the lowest pitch quality and these recommendations have been endorsed via local consultation.

1 - Moss Farm– works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities –11v11 FTP, 11v11 AGP, seven adult and seven junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 109 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

2 - Knights Grange Sports Complex – works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – nine adult, four junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 34 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

6 - Netherpool Road– works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – three adult, one junior pitch; changing provision
  • Existing users – eight affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

7 - Saltworks Farm – works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – two adult and two junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – five affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

8 - St Nicolas Catholic High School – works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – three adult and one junior; changing provision
  • Existing users – no affiliated use. School curtailed all access due to issues with pitch quality.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

9 - Seacombe Drive – works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – three junior pitches
  • Existing users – no current use due to pitch quality.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

10 - Whitby Park– works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – three junior pitches
  • Existing users – four affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

11 - Norley Road Playing Fields– works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – one adult, one junior pitch
  • Existing users – eight affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

12 - Stanney Grange– works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities – four adult pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – eight affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

13 - Barton Stadium – works to natural grass pitch

  • Existing facilities –one adult pitch; changing provision
  • Existing users – three affiliated affiliated teams
  • Rationale – sustain senior football

17 - Former Sutton High School– works to natural grass pitches

  • Existing facilities –three adult pitches
  • Existing users – Princes Villa JFC; 22 teams
  • Rationale – sustain senior football

Improved grass pitches

Pitchfinder

Changing room pavilions / clubhouses

06

These can provide a number of different benefits. While the primary function is normally the provision of changing rooms to accommodate match-play and training (for players and officials), there can be equal value in facilities such as community and education rooms, catering facilities and spectator toilets.

Each project will take a progressive approach to pavilions and clubhouses (beyond the provision of changing rooms) and be open to new opportunities to engage the whole community. That means, creating environments that are welcoming to players, spectators, volunteers, officials and all sections of the community.

Such assets should support other investment priorities (e.g. 3G FTPs and grass pitches) and be located at sites that will have the greatest impact on local communities. To ensure this, focus is given to sites with three or more full-size pitch equivalents. However, as pitch quality is the number one priority for players this is prioritised before investment in changing room pavilions /clubhouses.

Clearly, facilities need to be well managed and maintained to keep them in a good state of repair. Consideration will be given to reviewing the best operator solution for key sites and the installation of revenue generating features such as catering facilities and community rooms. To achieve this, business plan support will be given to each priority project as it progresses to an application to the Football Foundation.

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Assets and opportunities

Of the 38 key sites with three or more full-size pitch equivalents in Cheshire West & Chester, 28 have suitable changing room pavilions/clubhouses. Five sites have existing facilities that need improvement/ replacement and five have no facilities and require a new changing pavilion.

In addition to the above, King George V Playing Field (Blacon) and land managed by Huntington Parish Council are not considered to be ‘key sites’ but are identified as being strategically important to football in Cheshire West & Chester and therefore have been included in the list of priority projects below.

28 key sites have suitable changing rooms/ pavilions/ clubhouses
5 require improvement/ replacement
7 have no facilities require new builds

Priority projects

12 priority projects for potential investment have therefore been identified. Each project has either no facilities or was assessed against a standard criteria to have an unsuitable pavilion:

1 - Moss Farm – refurbish changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – 11v11 FTP, 11v11 AGP (see above), seven adult and seven junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 109 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

2 - Knights Grange Sports Complex – refurbish changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – three adult, three junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – 34 affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football and women’s and girls football.

3 - King George V Playing Field/Blacon pitch– refurbish changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities –two adult pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users – future home site of Chester FC Community Trust if it can secure long term access.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football, recreational football, disability football and over 50s participation.

6 - Netherpool Road– refurbish changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities: three adult, one junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users: eight affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women and girls football

7 - Saltworks Farm – refurbish changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities: two adult and two junior pitches; changing provision
  • Existing users: five affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women and girls football

9 - Seacombe Drive – new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – three junior pitches
  • Existing users – no current use due to pitch quality
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football and women’s and girls football.

10 - Whitby Park– new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities: three adult, one junior pitches
  • Existing users: eight affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women and girls football

12 - Stanney Grange – new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – four adult pitches
  • Existing users – eight affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

14 - Hoole Playing Fields (Coronation Playing Fields) – new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – three junior pitches
  • Existing users – five affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football and women’s and girls football.

15 - Verdin Exchange – new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – three junior pitches
  • Existing users – ten affiliated teams
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

16 - Huntington Parish Council – new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities – one adult pitch, two junior pitches
  • Existing users – none; Chester Nomads FC aspires to relocate to the site if the project moves forward.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: junior football, senior football, women’s and girls football and informal football.

17 - Former Sutton High School– new changing pavilion

  • Existing facilities –three adult pitches
  • Existing users – Princes Villa JFC; 22 teams
  • Rationale – sustain senior football

Changing pavilions

Pitchfinder

Small-sided facilities

07

Good facilities are important to all small-sided football players, but it is important to understand the different formats of the small-sided game and the various facility types they relate to.

Research suggests that small-sided players in teams & leagues, and in recreational sessions, prefer a 3G surface type because it replicates a good standard natural turf pitch. These facilities have already been covered in the 3G FTP section of this LFFP.

Indoor environments currently accommodate 20% of football participation and are also popular with players in teams & leagues and recreational sessions . Indoor sports halls are most popular, along with some community halls and indoor 3G centres. Environments need to be engaging, have clear line-marking and the correct size goalposts.

Informal players require facilities that are open and free to access as this enables play opportunities that are often spontaneous. In these circumstances multi-use games areas (MUGAs) can be effective in areas of high urban population and limited green space. Such facilities can be modern, bright, creative and engaging. While this plan will identify suitable locations for such facilities, the design and specifics of the facility type can be agreed at a later stage with Football Foundation staff when projects are ready to progress to pre-application stage.

Parks and open green spaces are also important to informal play and require goalposts and zones that are free from litter and dog fouling.

SS Facilities 1.png
SS Facilities 2.png
0 Better Indoor spaces
5 MUGAs
2 Better parks/ open green spaces

Indoor

Local consultation reveals there are currently no indoor facilities that require improvement to develop small-sided football.

Multi-use Game Areas (MUGAs)

Five potential opportunities for MUGA’s have been identified. In each case the rationale is based on the site being in an area of high urban population , limited green space , high levels of deprivation, high levels of lower social economic groups and corresponding high local demand for informal football:

18 - Limewood Fields– refurbish existing MUGA

  • Existing facilities – MUGA
  • Existing users – recreational and informal users and New Scene Live Centre.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football.

19 - Cambridge Road (Ellesmere Port)– refurbish MUGA

  • Existing facilities – MUGA
  • Existing users – informal users
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football

20 - School Road (Ellesmere Port)– refurbish MUGA

  • Existing facilities – MUGA
  • Existing users – informal users
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football

21 - Parklands – refurbish MUGA

  • Existing facilities – MUGA
  • Existing users – informal users
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football

22 - Linards Lane (Wincham)–refurbish MUGA

  • Existing facilities – MUGA, junior football pitch
  • Existing users – informal users
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football

Parks and open green spaces

Following local consultation, two locations have been identified to support small-sided informal football. Here, the rationale is based on highly popular local parks and open green spaces with suitable space / areas to increase informal football:

22 - Linards Lane (Wincham)–informal football

  • Existing facilities – MUGA, junior football pitch
  • Existing users – informal users
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football

23 - Whetstone Hey – informal football

  • Existing facilities – none
  • Existing users – informal users. Ellesmere Port Health Centre has aspirations to utilise the site for patients.
  • Rationale – participation growth in: recreational and informal football

Small sided football opportunities

Pitchfinder

Appendix A: Priority Project List

08

This list compiles all of the priority projects for potential investment. Each project has been scored against two principle factors: deliverability and outcomes (quality, inclusivity, sustainability, engagement and usage).

The list will be used flexibly; a projects ‘rating’ does not determine the exact order that it will progress to a funding application to the Football Foundation as we understand there are many factors that influence this. The process for moving a project from this list and into the ‘pre-application stage’ will be managed by the Football Foundation.

24

Vision 2020 - Cheshire FA

Location

Location details: Northwich

Facilities
  • New 11v11 Floodlit 3G FTP (2)
  • Potential Hybrid (2)
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (6)
Owner

County FA

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

4.0/4

Overall score

83% (10.0/12)

Notes

Cheshire County FA, in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and ION Developments, has confirmed its intention to open a unique world class football facility in Northwich, Cheshire. This project will significantly enhance the development of Football For All across the county. The final site location is still to be determined.

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; BAME; Disability; IMD / lower social economic groups; Mini-soccer; Pro-club; Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

3

King George V Playing Field - 3G FTP and refurbish changing pavilion

Location

KING GEORGE V PLAYING FIELD Blacon Avenue, Blacon, Chester, , CH1 5BD

Facilities
  • New 11v11 Floodlit 3G FTP (1)
  • Refurbish Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

3.1/4

Overall score

76% (9.1/12)

Notes

Chester FC Foundation looking to acquire the site on a long term lease arrangement.

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; BAME; Disability; IMD / lower social economic groups; Mini-soccer; Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

4

Helsby High School - 3G FTP

Location

HELSBY HIGH SCHOOL CHESTER ROAD, HELSBY, FRODSHAM, , WA6 0HY

Facilities
  • New 11v11 Floodlit 3G FTP (1)
Owner

Education

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

3.1/4

Overall score

76% (9.1/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Small-sided recreational; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

1

Moss Farm - 3G FTP, pitch improvements and changing room refurbishment

Location

MOSS FARM LEISURE COMPLEX MOSS FARM MOSS LANE, NORTHWICH, , CW8 4BG

Facilities
  • New 11v11 Floodlit 3G FTP (1)
  • Refurbish Changing Pavilion (1)
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (14)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

3.0/4

Overall score

75% (9.0/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Disability; IMD / lower social economic groups; Mini-soccer; Small-sided recreational; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

2

Knights Grange Sports Complex - 3G FTP, pitch improvements and changing room refurbishment

Location

KNIGHTS GRANGE SPORTS COMPLEX KNIGHTS GRANGE GRANGE LANE, WINSFORD, , CW7 2PT

Facilities
  • New 11v11 Floodlit 3G FTP (1)
  • Refurbish Changing Pavilion (1)
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (13)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

3.0/4

Overall score

75% (9.0/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Disability; IMD / lower social economic groups; Mini-soccer; Small-sided recreational; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

6

Netherpool Road - pitch improvements and changing room refurbishment

Location

NETHERPOOL ROAD Naylor Close, Ellesmere Port, , CH66 1TH

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (4)
  • Refurbish Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

3.0/4

Overall score

67% (8.0/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

14

Hoole Playing Field (Coronation Playing Field) - changing pavilion

Location

HOOLE PLAYING FIELDS Canadian Avenue, Hoole, Chester, , CH2 3HG

Facilities
  • New Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.4/4

Overall score

65% (7.8/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

11

Norley Road - pitch improvements

Location

NORLEY ROAD PLAYING FIELDS PLAYING FIELD WEAVERHAM ROAD, CUDDINGTON, NORTHWICH, , CW8 2LB

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (2)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.2/4

Overall score

62% (7.4/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

13

Barton Stadium - pitch improvements

Location

BARTON STADIUM (WINSFORD UNITED FC) THE BARTON STADIUM WHARTON ROAD, WINSFORD, , CW7 3AE

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (1)
Owner

Football club

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.2/4

Overall score

62% (7.4/12)

Project Focus

Adult male

5

Malpas Sports Club - 3G FTP

Location

MALPAS AND DISTRICT SPORTS CLUB THE OXHAYS WREXHAM ROAD, MALPAS, , SY14 7EJ

Facilities
  • New 9v9 Floodlit 3G FTP (1)
Owner

Other

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.6/4

Overall score

61% (7.3/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Small-sided recreational; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

8

St Nicholas Catholic High School - pitch improvements

Location

ST NICHOLAS CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL Greenbank Lane, Hartford, Northwich, , CW8 1JW

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (4)
Owner

Football club

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.6/4

Overall score

61% (7.3/12)

Project Focus

Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

7

Saltworks Farm - pitch improvements and changing room refurbishment

Location

SALTWORKS FARM Ship Street, Frodsham, , WA6 7NZ

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (4)
  • Refurbish Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.1/4

Overall score

60% (7.1/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Small-sided teams and leagues; Youth female; Youth male

9

Seacombe Drive - pitch improvements and changing room refurbishment

Location

SEACOMBE DRIVE RECREATION GROUND Seacombe Drive, Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, , CH66 2QN

Facilities
  • Refurbish Changing Pavilion (1)
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (3)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.1/4

Overall score

60% (7.1/12)

Project Focus

Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

10

Whitby Park - pitch improvements and new changing pavilion

Location

WHITBY PARK Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, , CH65 9AE

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (3)
  • New Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

High (3/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.1/4

Overall score

60% (7.1/12)

12

Stanney Grange - pitch improvements and new changing pavilion

Location

STANNEY GRANGE Thornton Road, Ellesmere Port, , CH65 5HN

Facilities
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (4)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.4/4

Overall score

57% (6.8/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

17

Former Sutton High School (Princes Villa JFC) - pitch improvements and new changing pavilion

Location

Location details: Former Sutton High School site

Facilities
  • New Changing Pavilion (1)
  • Natural grass pitch improvements (3)
Owner

Football club

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.4/4

Overall score

57% (6.8/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

15

Verdin Exchange - changing pavilion

Location

THE VERDIN EXCHANGE HIGH STREET, WINSFORD, , CW7 2BP

Facilities
  • New Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.1/4

Overall score

51% (6.1/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

16

Huntington Parish Council - Changing pavilion

Location

JUBILEE PLAYING FIELDS Meadow Lane, Huntington, Chester, , CH3 6DQ

Facilities
  • New Changing Pavilion (1)
Owner

Other

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.1/4

Overall score

51% (6.1/12)

Project Focus

Adult female; Adult male; Mini-soccer; Youth female; Youth male

18

Limewood Fields - refurbishment of existing MUGA

Location

LIMEWOOD PLAYING FIELDS LIME WOOD CLOSE, CHESTER, , CH2 2HD

Facilities
  • Small sided informal (MUGA) (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.0/4

Overall score

50% (6.0/12)

Notes

To accommodate potential demand from Live! New Scene Youth Centre

Project Focus

Disability; IMD / lower social economic groups; Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational

19

Cambridge Road (Ellesmere Port) - refurbishment of existing MUGA

Location

Location details: Cambridge Road

Facilities
  • Small sided informal (MUGA) (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.0/4

Overall score

50% (6.0/12)

Project Focus

Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational

20

School Road (Ellesmere Port) - refurbishment of existing MUGA

Location

Location details: School Road

Facilities
  • Small sided informal (MUGA) (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.0/4

Overall score

50% (6.0/12)

Project Focus

Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational

21

Parklands - refurbishment of existing MUGA

Location

Location details: Parklands ROAD

Facilities
  • Small sided informal (MUGA) (1)
Owner

Local Authority

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.0/4

Overall score

50% (6.0/12)

Project Focus

Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational

22

Linards Lane - refurbishment of existing MUGA and improvement to informal football area

Location

Location details: Linards Lane

Facilities
  • Small sided informal (MUGA) (1)
  • Small sided informal (Park) (1)
Owner

Other

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.0/4

Overall score

50% (6.0/12)

Project Focus

Small-sided informal; Small-sided recreational

23

Whetstone Hey - informal football

Location

WHETSTONE HEY Old Chester Road, Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, , CH66 3JX

Facilities
  • Small sided informal (Park) (1)
Owner

Other

Deliverability score

Medium (2/4)

NFFS outcome score

2.0/4

Overall score

50% (6.0/12)

Notes

Ellesmere Port Health Centre has aspirations to utilise the site for patients.

Project Focus

Disability; IMD / lower social economic groups; Small-sided informal

A project's overall score provides an indication of its potential outcomes and deliverability only (weighted twice as much towards the outcomes score). It does not impact the likelihood or level of any potential investment.

Appendix B: Consultation List

09

  • Business Development Manager – Brio Leisure
  • CEO – Chester FC Community Trust
  • Clerk – Huntington Parish Council
  • Clerk – Wincham Parish Council
  • Clerk – Helsby Parish Council
  • Chairman – Chester & District Girls FC
  • Chairman – Frodsham Juniors FC •
  • Ellesmere Port Town Centre Improvement Manager - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Land & Sites Co-Ordinator - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • League Committee – Mid Cheshire Sunday League •
  • Principle Planning Officer - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Public Realm & Play Commissioner – Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Public Health - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Senior Localities Manager - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Senior Partnership Manager - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Senior Manager Streetcare - Cheshire West & Chester Council
  • Secretary – Winsford United FC
  • Secretary – Tarvin United FC
  • Secretary – Upton Juniors FC
  • Secretary – Hartford FC
  • Secretary – Woodford JFC
  • Secretary – Newton Athletic JFC
  • Secretary – Neston Nomads FC
  • Secretary - Groves Junior FC
  • Secretary – Barnton FC •
  • Secretary – Princes Villa JFC
  • Secretary – Winsford Diamonds FC •
  • Secretary – Cuddington and Sandiway JFC
  • Secretary – Saughall Colts JFC
  • Secretary – Middlewich Centurions FC
  • Vice chairman – 1874 Northwich Victoria FC

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