As a keen sportsman, I was absolutely delighted to visit the new 3G pitch at Baglan field. It received funds from the UK Government’s multi-sport grassroots facilities programme, which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister championed when Chancellor. I look forward to meeting Welsh Government Ministers next week to discuss this and other issues around sports, as we cheer on our heroes in tîm Cymru a’r wal goch—team Wales and the red wall.
UK Government funding for grassroots football facilities in Clwyd South this year has included £57,000 for upgrading the pitch at Ysgol y Grango for the community hub, and £20,000 for Penycae football club, which is helping re-establish a girls team. Does my right hon. Friend agree that grassroots sport is vital for the health, wellbeing and quality of life of all our communities?
I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, and that is why we have allocated £1.3 million to 17 projects in Wales to make vital improvements to changing room facilities and artificial grass surfaces. Sports clubs are at the heart of every community in Wales, and Wales is at the heart of every decision taken by this Government and this Prime Minister.
As people up and down Wales celebrate Wales’s success and wish them the best for the next couple of matches, this is an ideal and unparalleled opportunity to galvanise that enthusiasm and develop grassroots football in Wales. The Football Association of Wales tells me that £12 million has been earmarked by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for the development of the sport over the next few years, but it could be threatened by the cuts announced last week by the Chancellor. Will the Secretary of State please speak to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and beg her to safeguard that money for the development of grassroots football in Wales?
The Government have already shown their commitment to sport—not just football but many other sports—through the funds disbursed by DCMS across the United Kingdom. I am sure that right hon. colleagues will have heard the hon. Lady’s comments, but I assure her of our commitment to grassroots sports across Wales and the United Kingdom. I look forward to joining her to support tîm Cymru a’r wal goch wythnos nesaf. Diolch. (Translation: I look forward to joining her to support team Wales and the red wall next week. Thank you.)