Chessington & Hook United receive £55,000 Football Foundation grant

The grant was received as a result of a Football Foundation Grass Pitch Improvement Plan application.

Surrey club Chessington & Hook United have received a £55,000 grant from the Football Foundation following their successful funding application for grass pitch works.


The fund will cover works to improve their pitches over a ten-year period. This follows a visit from the Grounds Management Association [GMA], who found that their pitches could be greatly improved by this level of support. In the 2019-20 season, the GMA have provided pitch improvement visits to 193 grass pitches across Surrey.

Reflecting on the grant prcess, Martin Elis, Club Treasurer of Chessington & Hook United said, “Firstly, thank you very much to Mike Gilham for all of his help and support over the past eight months, without his help and advice I don’t think we would have got to this point of receiving the offer.

I have been involved with the running of the club for the past eight years now and many members have mentioned over the years, “Why don’t you apply for finding?”

Last year I noticed the Pitch Improvement Programme through Surrey FA, which offers a pitch survey that would give us advise on how we could improve the pitches.

The cost to us was £100, which I thought was a small fee and it would be good to at least know what we would need to do to improve the pitches.

From the start of the journey to receiving the offer, it’s taken approximately 8 months, 2 months of which were down to me getting our signed lease scanned and sent over. Now we have been awarded the funding, I realise the process has been relatively smooth.

The one piece of advice I would give to another club, would be to make sure you have your house in order first; lease, PIP, Charter Standard, quotes and finances, and to make sure you seek the support and advise from Mike at the Surrey FA.

The funding will be used on our junior section pitches for some much-needed improvements which we have never been able to afford, in the hope we will get less games postponed over the season due the waterlogging.”


Mike Gilham, Head of Participation & Development, Surrey FA added, “We are delighted that the Football Foundation has awarded Chessington & Hook United with this grant and look forward to seeing the benefits this investment will bring, not only to club’s pitches but also to their local community as a result”.


Grants are available for grassroots pitches, from large pots of money like this for ten years or up to £2,100 for each grass pitch at a club’s facilities for a six-year period. The Football Foundation aims to improve 20,000 grass pitches through the Grass Pitch Improvement plan in the coming years.


There are two key criteria for eligibility; your GPAR determines that your grass pitches are below the ‘Good’ standard and that you have permission to do the work.


To start the process of improving the grass pitches at your facility, click here.


For clubs who are unsure of what to do with their pitches during the Covid-19 crisis, please see the guidance available here.