Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Oxford United announce stadium community pledge

OXFORD United has unveiled details of a major new community initiative as part of proposals for the new stadium.

The Dreaming Spires project would deliver a significant positive impact across Oxfordshire through new activities and outreach programmes. Plans include work experience, apprenticeship and employment opportunities for students and young professionals, plus mental health support programmes, mentoring and education. In addition, the club will make a commitment to improving and maintaining the sports playing pitches at Stratfield Brake and to ensuring the club’s Training Ground will remain at Horspath Road with many of their community programmes continuing to run from there.

To celebrate the announcement Oxford United has launched an immediate £10,000 fund for charities, grassroots clubs, schools and voluntary groups.

The community giving-back fund will provide ten £1,000 grants to Oxfordshire-based not-for-profit organisations that support the provision of sport and physical activity, as well as health and wellbeing programmes.

Schools whose facilities are used by community groups will also be able to apply for a grant from the club, with funds available to support kit and equipment purchases, facility improvements, volunteer training and coaching requirements. Organisations can apply now for the grant and the winning ten will be selected by a judging panel made up of members from the stadium project team.

Adam Benson, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Oxford United, said:

“The Dreaming Spires project will ensure the proposed new stadium has a hugely positive impact on our local communities.

“It is a significant and exciting plan and, if this stadium goes ahead, will allow Oxford United to play an invaluable role in creating a better future for Oxfordshire.

“To demonstrate our commitment, we’re proud to launch our community giving-back fund competition which will help ten local good causes deliver more impact and I’d encourage groups, clubs and schools to enter. This is just the beginning, as the scale of impact we could deliver via the new stadium would be a game-changer for the club and county.”

The Dreaming Spires project consists of five core elements which prioritise opportunity, accessibility, people’s mental wellbeing, development and local legacy.

The commitments will be rolled out during the stadium’s initial construction phase, with lasting pledges forming a key part of the venue’s operation once open to help address genuine local needs. Positive impact work has already commenced in some key areas.

The five schemes are:

  • Building Blocks: A school, further education, apprenticeship and paid placement programme.
  • Pitch Perfect: Funding and additional support to improve and maintain the sports playing pitches at Stratfield Brake.
  • Team Mates: The delivery of mental health focused programmes in Kidlington and surrounding areas.
  • Match Fit: A football-led mentoring and education programme for personal and professional development.
  • Leys Legacy: A pledge to keep the Training Ground at Horspath Road and ensure community programmes continue to operate there to serve east Oxford communities.

Adam added:

“By working closely with the club’s construction partners, venue suppliers and Oxford United in the Community, every aspect of Dreaming Spires will be delivered in collaboration with the very communities this project will support.

“The positive influence the club’s new stadium will have on local people will stretch far beyond the arena itself. Our £10,000 community fund and the Dreaming Spires project demonstrates this and will deliver numerous benefits.”

Those who wish to apply for one of ten available grants can do so by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/OUFCGivingBackFund. Applicants will need to state their name, email address, phone number and name of the organisation they are applying for.

Applications must include:

  1. A description of your organisation, in no more than 150 words.
  2. What the money would be spent on, in no more than 150 words.
  3. What winning the competition would mean to your organisation, in no more than 250 words.

The deadline for applications is 23.59 on Friday 12th April. Full terms and conditions can be viewed by clicking here.

More information on the Dreaming Spires project and community giving-back fund can be found via the stadium website: https://oufcstadium.co.uk/dreaming-spires/.

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