£1m boost for Swindon Town's Community Trust

Swindon Town Football in the Community Trust (STFitCT) is set to dramatically increase its local impact after being awarded £1million of funding towards a state-of-the-art community 'club hub' facility. 

The funding from the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund means the finances are now in place for the £2.2m development on the site of the League Two club's County Ground home. 

It will enable STFitCT to expand its range of projects and programmes that currently offer a wide variety of services to the local community in the areas of sport, health, social inclusion and education; catering for participants aged from two to over 80. 

As well as featuring two full-size pitches, a 3G pitch, a large multi-use room, offices, education rooms, meeting rooms and a café, the facility will host Swindon Harriers Athletics Club and will benefit local schools and grassroots clubs. It is expected to open early in 2019. 

Jon Holloway, who has been Head of the Trust for 22 years, told ConnectSport: "This has been an aspiration of ours for the last 10 years. 

"Our biggest challenge for a long time has been finding good quality facilities in and around Swindon to be able to deliver and develop the projects we run. To have our own base alongside the professional club at the County Ground will be wonderful and will enable us to offer more opportunities to more people." 

STFitCT deliver an array of football-based programmes across the town and beyond including the Premier League Primary Stars scheme, women and girls' football, Official Soccer Schools, after-school clubs and holiday courses. 

The Trust's social inclusion department runs a 'Football Fans In Training' project, helping local men aged 35-65 to lead healthier lifestyles; a disability programme for children and adults; and a programme called Extra Time which helps the over-60s interact socially and engage in physical activity. 

"Our aim when we were set up in 1993 was to try to impact and involve as many people as possible, so any person can walk in off the street and we would have a project or programme to engage them. 

"The football club is in the heart of the town and the new facility will help us to engage even further with the local community, offer more opportunities and have more impact in and around Swindon."