Funding secured to improve football pitches in Walker and Paddy Freeman’s Parks

As England Women continue to battle it out to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, we’re delighted to announce that, thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation, we’re growing local football talent here in Newcastle by updating and improving the football pitches in Walker Park and Paddy Freeman’s Park.

The £67,840 grant will ensure local football teams in the city can partner with us to access high quality pitches for training and games, and local communities can continue to access green spaces to enjoy football and other sports. The grant funding will also ensure the long term future of the football pitches.

Walker Central FC have a number of teams that play at Walker Park, and we have recently formed a new partnership with Heaton Stannington FC that will see its Junior division play out of Paddy Freeman’s Park. Both partnerships bring football to the local area and encourage more people into the game.

Malcolm McKenna, Sports and Activities Officer at Urban Green Newcastle said: “Local football pitches have always been at the heart of our communities. They’re spaces people can come together for a kick about with friends, or a place local teams can host authorised games.

“Because of the funding we’ve received through the Foundation’s Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund, we’re now able to dress and reseed the goal mouths, and fertilise and reseed the pitches. The works mean that as well as improving access to grassroots football, we’re also improving facilities for local communities; giving more people the chance to get involved in sport.”

The £67,840 six-year tapered grant was awarded following the completion of a pitch inspection using PitchPower – the Football Foundation’s specially developed web app used for assessing the quality of grass football pitches.

Helen Beales, Facilities Lead at Northumberland FA said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help Urban Green Newcastle identify and access this funding. Improving football facilities is a vital part of our work, providing safe, good quality pitches for all our grassroots football community to enjoy.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund grant award to Urban Green Newcastle is vital for the local community in Newcastle.

“Together, with our Funding Partners – The Premier League, The FA and Government – we’re on a mission to transform the quality of grass pitches in England. Our Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund is vital to support clubs across the country, helping them enhance and sustain their pitches to improve access to good quality facilities for grassroots players.”

“Better quality grass pitches means fewer postponements and more opportunities to play; part of our wider ambition to help unlock the power of pitches and get more people involved in sport, regardless of their background, age or ability.”

These grants are key to the Foundation’s aim to deliver 20,000 ‘good’ quality grass pitches by 2030. Alongside PitchPower, the Football Foundation has also created an online Groundskeeping Community to provide expert support and advice to clubs. Anyone in Newcastle can find out more and sign up at

We’d love to work with other football clubs across the city to utilise the parks’ facilities. To find out more, please email