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Scottish Grassroots Football - James Anderson donation

Scottish Grassroots Football to benefit from a further £1.5m boost

Philanthropist James Anderson has donated a further £1.5 million to help sustain Scottish grassroots football.

The donation by the Hearts director to the Scottish Football Partnership Trust (SFPT) is set to rise to £1.875m through Gift Aid.

Grants of up to £40,000 to purchase equipment such as goalposts, floodlights, maintenance equipment, or for refurbishing changing rooms and improving pitches will be available to grassroots clubs and charitable community football organisations.

“It seems clearer to me that a flourishing grassroots football system is a major contribution to health, well-being and happiness,” said James Anderson, who also donated £300,000 to youth football via the SFPT in July.

James Clydesdale, chairman of the SFPT, said: “This is an incredibly generous donation and a tremendous vote of confidence in our work at grassroots level. This million-plus investment is taking things to a whole new level.”

Stuart McCaffrey, SFPT chief operating officer, added: “Our aim is always to promote inclusive participation in football at grassroots level with physical well-being and mental health being central to charitable aims and objectives.

“By investing in facilities, we can bolster hubs and homes for clubs enabling more people of all ages, regardless of their ability or social circumstances, to participate in a safe and modern environment.

“Whilst the fund will primarily support football-based activities, we also hope it will help the development of other sports played at football club facilities.”

Mr Anderson, who joined the Tynecastle board in May, has given more than £3m to the men’s senior game and £250,000 to women’s football during Covid-19.

One of the UK’s longest-serving fund managers having been with Baillie Gifford for nearly four decades, Mr Anderson is to retire on 30 April next year.

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