Hearts director James Anderson makes further £1.5m donation to Scottish football

Hearts director James Anderson has donated a further £1.5m of his own money to help community football across the country.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:57 am
Scottish football benefactor James Anderson joined the Hearts board in May. Pic: Matt Marcus

The donation to the Scottish Football Partnership Trust, which will rise to £1.875m through Gift-Aid, is the largest ever received by the charity and follows on from the £3m the Edinburgh-based philanthropist gave last year to help support Scottish clubs through the covid pandemic.

The Trust will use the handout to create the James Anderson Facility Fund which will allow grassroots clubs and other charitable community football organisations to apply for grants of between £10,000 and £40,000 for large and small-scale infrastructure projects.

Stuart McCaffrey, SFPT chief operating officer, said the donation was "a wonderful opportunity for grassroots clubs to receive investment in facilities, equipment and infrastructure.”

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The SFPT trustees – chair James Clydesdale, former Hearts director Fraser Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland, and Peter Donald, former secretary of the Scottish Football League – are delighted with the donation.

Clydesdale said: “This is an incredibly generous donation and a tremendous vote of confidence in the SFPT. James Anderson shares our philosophy and has been supporting some of our projects since 2020. But this million plus investment is taking things to a whole new level.”

The fund will focus on long term sustainability for grassroots clubs and other charitable community football organisations to increase their impact for both communities and individuals.

McCaffrey added: “Our aim at the SFPT 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.

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

Since 2014 the SFPT has been funding and supporting the game at grassroots for children’s, youth and amateur level, Scottish Women’s Football, and through its community outreach project, GoFitba.

Major SFPT projects have included their portable changing rooms programme now used by over 14,000 players, investment in 36 3G pitches, community club defibrillators and funding Sports First Aid training for over 3000 coaches and volunteers.

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