Lewes Football Club is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a £750,000 grant via the Premier League Stadium Fund for a new carpet-hybrid pitch at The Dripping Pan. The new playing surface is designed to support the growth and professionalism of teams in the FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship.
The Hybrid Pitch, which will be installed over the course of the summer, is 95% natural grass intertwined with a mesh carpet to ensure stability, as used in the Premier League.
It will ensure that both our women’s and men’s teams begin the 2022-23 season with a state-of- the-art playing surface, and comes complete with embedded irrigation system, pop-up sprinklers and drainage to maintain the performance throughout the year. The club is grateful to board director Ed Briggs who led the application.
Briggs said, “Management Teams, for both our men and women, have long expressed their belief that this will transform their recruitment process and ensure they can deliver an entertaining brand of football. It’s been quite a task to put together this successful funding application, but the outcome has made all the work so worthwhile. Special thanks must go to our Financial Controller, Biram Desai; CEO, Maggie Murphy; Facilities Manager, James Barker; Phill Brady of Spruce Architecture and Dale Frith of PSD Agronomy for supporting us on this project over the past ten months.”
Lewes FC Chief Executive Maggie Murphy commented: “Our commitment to progressing women’s football has earned us this top-quality pitch, but both teams will benefit, proving that equality benefits everyone. I know that both teams and managers as well as our Head of Performance are excited at the idea of a new pitch that will attract new players keen to play high-quality, entertaining football.”
The club is also using the replacement of the pitch to enable the creation of a new pitch-side pathway on the north side of the pitch, opening up all sides of The Dripping Pan to fans for next season and increasing access for fans with wheelchairs and mobility needs. The pathway in front of The Rook Inn will also be widened to further reduce access bottlenecks and improve the safety and security of fans.
In the summer of 2020, the club ran a successful Crowdfunder to raise money for new floodlights (already installed) and an Accessible Toilet in The Rook Inn. This latter piece of work will also be completed over the summer, with additional funds donated from the Supporters Club. This too should vastly improve the experience for people with accessibility needs. We hope you will agree that The Dripping Pan will be a much-improved place to visit come next season.
The Premier League is committed to supporting investment in facilities across the football pyramid and wider game. This includes:
Since 2000, the League has funded more than 5,200 grants to assist non-league and women’s clubs with the cost of improvements to their grounds, with total investment to date more than £177 million. This has benefited more than 3,000 clubs using sites funded by the Premier across 109 leagues.
In November 2020, the Premier League announced additional funding of £5 million to National League and National League North and South clubs until 2025. This formed part of the additional £100 million of investment the Premier League has committed to over the next four years to provide security and continuity to lower league clubs, and help develop the game.
Between 2019 and 2022, the Premier League provided solidarity funding of £6m for National League clubs, along with £2.5m in Academy and £1.4m in community funding over the same period.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Matchday Support Fund was solely funded by the Premier League and provided £5.5m in grants to more than 1,000 non-league, women’s and Welsh clubs across 65 leagues to help make their stadiums and facilities COVID-safe.
The Premier League contributed more than one third towards the Football Foundation’s Pitch and Club Preparation Funds, which provided £8.7m in grants to almost 3,000 clubs in the grassroots, non-league and women’s game to help them prepare their pitches for football’s return.
About the Premier League
The Premier League produces some of the most competitive and compelling football in the world. The League and its clubs use the power and popularity of the competition to inspire fans, communities and partners in the UK and across the world. The Premier League brings people together from all backgrounds. It is a competition for everyone, everywhere and is available to watch in 880 million homes in 188 countries.