Exeter Football in Community looks set to gain council funding
A community organisation that uses football and other sports to promote education, participation, health and wellbeing and social inclusion looks set to be helped considerably by Exeter City Council.
The council is proposing to give Exeter City FC’s Football in The Community charity (FITC) a grant of £19,800 that could secure its long-term plans for expansion.
The money has been earmarked from Exeter City Council’s New Homes Bonus Local Infrastructure Fund and if granted would be used to pay for a feasibility study looking at the redevelopment of the Fountain Centre at St James Park, where FITC is based.
The Fountain Centre, which was recently acquired from Devon County Council, is not suitable for the charity as a long-term base due to its Victorian design and construction and FITC therefore wants to employ consultants to undertake a feasibility study of options available to redevelop the site to provide more modern educational facilities.
Exeter City Football Club has agreed that this work can consider the possibility of using an adjacent area of land including the St James Centre to enable a more comprehensive development.
The intention is that a potential housing element could provide funding to enable construction of a new educational facility.
The grant will go before the city council’s Executive on 18 March, having been recommended for approval by the Major Grants and New Homes Bonus Panel.
Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Rachel Sutton, said: “Exeter City’s Football in the Community team do a wonderful job in the community and the time has come for them to look at a new home.”
Jamie Vittles, head of community at Exeter City FC, said: “The Fountain Centre is a great base for us but we now need a larger and more modern headquarters to allow us to expand, particularly for our delivery of education.”
Julian Tagg, vice chairman of Exeter City Football Club, said: “Football in the Community does so much good work in the city and beyond and it is vital that it moves forward. We would be happy to look at a residential development on the site if it would provide the funding to allow the charity to secure its long-term future.”
The other grants recommended for approval are:
• St Michaels and All Angels Church, Alphington; a contribution of £16,000 towards alterations to the church to update it so as to make it accessible to all and accommodate a wider range of community uses.
• Wear United and Newtown Community Association; a further £50,000 each towards their proposed new community buildings.
(from a press release)