Published Friday 4 February 2022 at 16:25
Blackburn with Darwen Council has pledged £50,000 to help kick-start funding to renovate the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre.
The funding, from the Council’s Covid economy recovery programme, will be boosted by £100K from Blackburn Rovers Community Trust – who will also apply for a further £250K from the Football Foundation.
The cash will be used to modernise the facilities close to Ewood Park – which is in need of upgrading so it can meet the ever-growing needs of residents.
The centre – known locally as the BRIC – is run by the club’s charity and is used to provide extensive opportunities for residents of all ages and backgrounds – especially young people who use it for grassroots football as well as employment and educational services.
Councillor Phil Riley, the Council’s Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:
As we start to recover from the pandemic, these sporting facilities are more important than ever.
The £50,000 we are pledging from the Covid economic recovery programme paves the way for Blackburn Rovers Community Trust to embark on their funding plans for a £400,000 refurbishment which is fantastic news for our residents.
As well as the improved facilities for the grassroots football teams, it will be home to a full-time post-16 college programme, will be used by primary schools from across the area and more. This is a great scheme for the borough and one that the Council is really proud to support.
The disability-friendly facility will also be used for regular walking football sessions – encouraging those with limited mobility to exercise and socialise.
And there’ll be a focus on development programmes linked to Blackburn Rovers’ Academy too, including encouraging more girls to take up the sport.
Councillor Maureen Bateson MBE, ward councillor for Ewood and a Trustee of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust – the Club’s registered charity – added:
This is the start of something really exciting for the BRIC.
It’s such a valuable facility for the community and by securing the funding needed, we’ll be able to modernise it to ensure residents have access to the very best facilities.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust will now be able to submit its funding bid to the Football Foundation with hopes that their application will be approved and work started later this year.
Gary Robinson, CEO of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust said:
We are absolutely delighted that our local Council recognises the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre as an important community asset and the opportunities that it creates for the betterment of local people.
By committing £50,000 towards the renovation, it will help to ensure that the BRIC is fit for purpose and can be enjoyed by all communities in addition to the many thousands who have already enjoyed using the BRIC over the last 20 years.
To find out more about the charity and the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre, click here.