Crook Town Youth AFC recently received a visit from Richard Holden MP, who brought good news in the form of a £20,000 grant from the Government’s Multi-Sport Grassroots Programme.

This program, which allocates millions of pounds, aims to enhance the facilities of grassroots clubs throughout the North East.

Last year, Richard also visited Consett AFC, which received £25,000 from the same scheme. Additionally, Eastbourne Sports Complex in Darlington received £941,842, and Seaton Carew Football Club in Hartlepool received £15,134. Apart from the immediate impact of improved facilities, these grants enable the clubs to allocate their resources to other areas, such as hiring more coaches, acquiring new kits, or obtaining the latest equipment.

Frank Bell and Richard Holden MP at Consett AFC

Richard has consistently demonstrated his support for football clubs in his constituency, both on and off the field. Securing funding for them is yet another accomplishment in his impressive track record. Shortly after his election, he met with the Football Foundation in Parliament and frequently raised the concerns of local clubs in the House of Commons.

Investing in the foundation of the football pyramid has far-reaching effects, benefiting the entire structure. This initiative will undoubtedly enable the North East’s talent pipeline to continue producing top-notch players in the beautiful game.

With nearly 10 FA Cups won between Sunderland and Newcastle, the Premier League’s leading scorer, and the hope for a Champions League victory in the upcoming season, the North East boasts a rich footballing heritage. Many of their triumphs over the years have been achieved by players hailing from County Durham, not to mention the impressive count of 84 England players from this great County.

This program ensures consistent funding for essential facility improvements from 2021 to 2025, aiming to level up facilities across the UK. It is gratifying to witness its immediate impact throughout our region. While talent may be evenly distributed across the UK, unfortunately, opportunities are not. This substantial investment will benefit all corners of the United Kingdom, improving our area and similar communities.

“Football is so important to our history, culture and local economy. It’s great to see first-hand this massive investment from the Government landing right here in North West Durham, particularly as I helped both clubs with their applications. 

“There is a long list of footballing heroes from the North East, which I want to see carry on long into the future. With almost £50,000 going to grassroots projects at Consett AFC and Crook Town Youth AFC, this is the kind of investment that will continue this rich heritage.  It was great to pop by Crook Town Youth AFC yesterday to have a chat with Johnnie King who does so much for our area to see the impact this new funding will have. It’s always great to see great efforts coming to fruition.

“I would encourage all of our fantastic grassroots clubs in North West Durham to get in touch with me and try to follow their example, you never know what you might get.”

Richard Holden MP

“Delighted to welcome Richard to the club this morning to celebrate the Club receiving funding from The Football Foundation, the Premier League, FA and government charity to renovate the facilities.

“The money will be used for much-needed refurbishments for the club. Upkeep of our facilities is half of the battle in getting the best out of our youth teams, so it’s great to have so much help and support with this from The Football Foundation and Durham FA with regards to the project.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance Grassroots football plays to top level football. It is the first vital step all professional footballers must first take on their journey to the top, so thanks very much to The Football Foundation, for this vital investment, Durham FA and Richard for their support not only to Crook Town AFC Youth, but to football clubs across the country.”

Johnnie King of Crook Town Youth AFC

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