A new report commissioned by the Football Foundation and carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has found that investing into the country’s grassroots infrastructure also delivers major benefits to the UK economy, in terms of growing gross domestic product (GDP) and job creation.
In particular, the report highlights that for every pound of Foundation investment into grassroots facilities, £7.73 worth of economic output is generated via partnership funding and the subsequent multiplier effects.
Cebr’s investigations of the economic value of investment in grass roots sports facilities in the UK points to three broad conclusions:
Contribution to GDP: In 2011, The Foundation provided around £15m of funding towards 80 construction projects requiring a total investment of £46m. This total investment in construction is expected to generate £22m in GDP through direct impacts and an additional £31m through indirect (demand stimulus through supply chain) and induced (increased incomes which induces consumer spending) impacts.
Employment creation: In 2011, The Foundation funded projects which are expected to directly support a total of 4,992 jobs during the construction (4,458 jobs) and operation (534 jobs) phase on a part-time or full-time basis. This equates to 632 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs, of which 344 are supported during the construction phase. For every million pounds invested in construction projects, 7.5 FTE construction jobs and 6.3 FTE jobs operational jobs are supported. In addition, to direct employment impacts, we have estimated that an extra 1.2 jobs are created for each job directly supported by investments. This means that in total, 1,378 FTE jobs are expected to be supported as a result of Foundation’s investment in 2011.
Local impacts: In 2011, around 7 out of 10 of construction jobs (73%) were sourced locally, benefitting at least 1,050 different local firms across the country. During the operation phase, volunteering activity is crucial for ensuring that facilities are adequately staffed. Once projects started in 2011 are completed, around 2,700 additional volunteers will be required to run facilities and deliver football development – the value of this volunteering is estimated to be worth £9.5m in economic output. For every 100 volunteers recruited, 25 staff are able to be employed on either a part-time or full-time basis for a range of activities (e.g. site management, coaching, football development, cleaning, bar activities). Furthermore, it is anticipated that an additional 3,200 volunteers per year will gain new qualifications as a result of investments made in 2011.
 A sample of 47 actual and projected cost breakdowns for construction projects funded by The Foundation and started in 2011 was used to calculate the direct employment effects of construction.
 A sample of around 192 projects completed between 2001 and 2011 was used to estimate the direct employment effects during day-to-day operations
 This is based on financial information provided by contractors from a sample of 11 projects funded by The Foundation and started by The Foundation in 2011
 This is based on the average paid staff to volunteer ratio using data from the 2011 Football Foundation Annual Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Survey