Budding football stars in UK’s poorest areas will get £43m from sports-mad Chancellor


BUDDING football stars in Britain’s poorest communities will get £43million for new facilities thanks to a Budget boost.

Sports-mad Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil a new funding formula to attract 300,000 new players by providing state-of-the-art pitches.

Rundown sports fields and changing rooms are one of the main reasons behind the sharp decline in playing football.

But Mr Sunak has struck a deal to chip in £8million if it is matched by the Premier League, the FA, local councils and others to increase the total at least fivefold.

The new money is part of a range of measures aimed at “levelling up” left-behind areas expected in Wednesday’s spending announcements.

Nearly half of grassroots football clubs in England are in the top 20 per cent most deprived areas.

The extra millions are expected to deliver an estimated 12 football hubs that should attract 300,000 new participants.

It will be overseen by the Parklife Project which has already received government cash to improve football facilities across England.

It paid for a brand new complex in Liverpool, which is now home to Walton and Kirkdale Junior Football League. It has three floodlit artificial grass pitches, male and female changing rooms and an 80-station gym.

More than 250,000 more people have played football at pitches built under the scheme since 2017, a third of whom are women.

A source close to the project said: “The new Chancellor has been enthused by the impact improved facilities can have. He’s also keen on football – which always helps.”