Barton Athletic Club (Shacklady’s Gym) in the City of Salford has received £500,000 of National Lottery Funding from Sports England’s Improvement Fund towards a £750,000 Project.
Barton AC is 1 of 37 projects across England to share in over £12.7 million of National Lottery investment from the third round of the Improvement Fund.
12 years ago, Barton AC had a vision to build a permanent multi-purpose sports facility. This has been made possible with the help of Sport England, City of Salford, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester, GreaterSport, the four Governing Bodies of Sport – England Boxing, British Wrestling, British Weightlifting, England Athletics, Eccles and Irlam Neighbourhood Management Team, Salford Sports Network and Salford CVS. This followed on from the “Save the Barton AC Campaign” a petition signed by 7,000 people which was launched after losing their home of 30 years, Eccles Drill Hall.
The Club, founded by Max Shacklady, ABA Boxing Champion and Olympian, has been in existence since 1953, and during that time had 7 homes. The Club is delighted to now have a permanent home for the next 99 years. The Club Committee have worked tirelessly throughout the last 12 years to achieve this goal.
The brand new multi sports facility will be located on Franklin Street, in the Barton ward of the City of Salford. The new Club will provide Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Road Running, as well as facilitating multi-sport and general fitness sessions.
To date, Barton AC and other funding agencies have contributed and fundraised a further £209,000 towards the Project. Over the last 12 years, in excess of 62,000 hours of unpaid volunteer time has enabled this bid to be successful. Barton AC would like to thank all the participants who have freely given their time in this process, as well as the support of the respective National Governing Bodies. In particular, England Boxing who have provided significant officer time and expertise, over the past 3 years, to support and assist in the bid process, and strategy of the Club’s activities, moving forward.
John Lightfoot, Treasurer of the Club said “A new horizon now awaits Barton AC enabled by this funding stream from Sport England. Our club will remain as a community hub within Barton and Eccles for years to come. The club will serve the community for generations in the future”.
The third round of the Improvement Fund focuses on facilities that will help get more young people playing sport. There are currently a record number of 3.9 million 16-25 year olds playing sport every week. However, there is still more to do to help young people develop a sporting habit for life.
Sport England is investing between £150,000 and £500,000 to improve sports facilities through the Improvement Fund to deliver an improved sporting experience.
Sport England Property Director Charles Johnston said: “We know people have a better experience of sport when they have good facilities in which to play. This is why we’re investing in Barton AC to help build new facilities, so they are more appealing to young people, and help us to get them developing a lifelong sporting habit".
Between 2012 and 2017, Sport England will invest £45 million of Lottery funding through the Improvement Fund into medium sized projects to improve grassroots sports facilities.
Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart said: “This funding announcement is fantastic news. Lots of people have worked hard behind the scenes for many years to keep the club running and secure this funding they deserve to be publically congratulated. I look forward to visiting again, to once again see the positive impact it is having in our community".
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