Shared Access

The FA have formed an exciting partnership with Shared Access – a leading telecoms infrastructure company, in a £30m programme to provide selected grassroots clubs across England with new or improved floodlighting systems.

By providing local football clubs with new or improved floodlighting facilities, Shared Access can also extend the broadband opportunities and mobile phone coverage through state-of-the-art wireless technology housed in floodlight columns.

This joint initiative will benefit hundreds of clubs and at the same time, open up new telecommunication channels in City, urban and rural communities throughout England. New and improved floodlighting schemes will directly support The FA’s National Game Strategy objectives.

“This partnership represents a unique opportunity for local grassroots football clubs to access new investment into floodlighting, allowing them to maximise the use of their facilities, especially in the dark winter months,” said FA General Secretary Alex Horne.

Chris Jackman, CEO of Shared Access added: “This initiative will bring immense benefits to telecomms providers in England and at the same time, to local football clubs. We will be investing up to £30m in providing world class telecommunications infrastructure and make sites available to all telecoms operators in England to enable the provision of advanced broadband and mobile communications.

“This mutually beneficial programme will at the same time allow for the upgrading of football club facilities across England to support them and The FA to develop the National Game.”

And Ed Vaizey PM, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, is fully behind the programme. “Floodlights and broadband may not be an obvious combination but this is a fantastic, innovative partnership. It will help take better broadband access to communities while also upgrading local sporting facilities.”

Shared Access

Shared Access is a private, well capitalised company who finance, develop and manage shared communications infrastructure for wireless operators.

The Shared Access proposal to clubs:

Should a club’s location prove suitable and they agree to host the infrastructure, Shared Access will deliver a turnkey floodlighting solution at clubs which meets and in some cases exceeds relevant regional and grassroots competition standards. This will create a valuable improvement for Club's facilities.

If a club already has floodlights, Shared Access would still like the opportunity to discuss development options with them.

I am interested in finding out more, what are the next steps / process moving forward

This is a great opportunity for clubs to benefit from a significant capital investment with the added benefit of a long term annual rental income. There is no obligation on clubs to enter into an agreement with Shared Access and any agreement will purely be between the club and Shared Access.

  1. Shared Access will, working with Mobile Network Operators, identify target coverage areas for the Operators, and the Clubs closest to the target area.

  2. Once a target area and closest clubs have been identified, Shared Access will contact the Clubs in question and advise them of the potential Operator interest.

  3. Should a Club then wish to proceed, Shared Access will request the Club to complete an Enquiry Form. Click here for Enquiry Form - On receipt of the Enquiry Form. Shared Access will complete further desktop analysis with the Mobile Operator to clarify the Operator’s interest in the location.

  4. Shared Access will then contact the Club, confirm “Operator Interest,” and request that if the Club is happy to proceed to the next stage that they complete a “Letter of Appointment” which enables Shared Access to invest further time with the Operator in developing outline scheme plans.

If a club would like to register their interest now, the Enquiry Form can be completed at any time.
Click here for Enquiry Form

Shared Access FAQ's:

Q: I have already completed and Enquiry form, but haven’t heard anything?
A: Thank you for completing the Enquiry Form, should you club be within an area targeted by the Mobile Network Operators, Shared Access will immediately contact you and inform you of the next stage of the process. This will typically be a meeting with Shared Access.  Your site will be continually marketed by Shared Access to the operators for the period of the scheme. Shared Access do not always have visibility of Operator’s target locations and that is why we ask for 24 months to market your location to the Operators.  In reality, it is Shared Access’ aim to build on as many football club locations as possible, but the actual amount we can develop is driven by the Operators needs.  Operator’s build plans/target areas change and are updated normally quarterly and are subject to budget constraints etc.  For example, this quarter they may be targeting a particular town, next quarter it could be a new motorway or similar.

Q: Is any annual revenue available to the Club?
A: There is a revenue stream available based on the number of Operators, technically this revenue would be paid to the landowner, or the Club if the Club is the Landowner, or if the Landowner / Club have an agreement that enables the Club to receive the revenue stream.

Q: How/who will manage the annual revenue allocation?
A: Shared Access.

Q: How many wireless operators could potentially use the Club’s location?
A: Up to 5 mobile operators and broadband operators.  The more operators who use the club’s location, the higher the annual rental income the club receives.

Q: Can I still apply if I have existing floodlights?
A: Yes.  The Operator’s equipment can often be attached to existing columns, or Shared Access may upgrade part of the lighting system, or a separate monopole may be installed for the Operator’s equipment.

Q: Can I apply if my club is located near some existing masts or if we are in close proximity to another club applying?
A: You should still apply, your site could still be deemed beneficial to mobile phone operators. In fact being close to an existing telecoms structure can make your location more attractive as the Operators are having to decrease the distance between cell locations due to the increasing demand for wireless coverage/broadband.

Q: Can I still apply if I live in an area of low population density?
A: Yes, due to increasing demand for mobile communications across the county the population requirements for masts are ever increasing.

Q: How will site assessments be carried out?
A: Site assessments will be carried out by Shared Access.

Q: Should I apply if my club is looking at other facility development methods?
A: Yes. It is important you continue any development work you are planning, if you're successful in the scheme it could work in partnership with other development strategies.

Q: Is there any cost/risk to the Club associated with the scheme?
A: The full cost of any floodlight installation, planning  or any other  associated works will be covered by Shared Access, However all clubs participation in this scheme must seek independent legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor to ensure that the details of any agreement between the club and shared Access (including Title on the site) are thoroughly understood. The obligations of both shared access and the club will be clearly set out in a legal agreement between both parties. This is why you should take independent legal advice before proceeding to sign any agreement.  Shared Access have developed a standard license agreement that has been reviewed by The FA, and Shared Access are willing to provide a non refundable contribution of £500.00 towards a clubs legal expense.

Q: Is planning permission required?
A: In general, yes.

Q: Who applies and bears cost of applying for planning permission and on whose behalf?
A: Shared Access apply for planning permission on behalf of the Club but always in full agreement with the Club.

Q: What is the situation regarding power for the lights?
A: The lighting will be designed to a specification provided by The FA. The supply of power will either be through existing connections or via a dedicated generator.

Q: What light level (LUX level) will these lights meet?
A: The lighting will be designed to a specification agreed between The FA and Shared Access.

Q: Who will be installing the lights?
A: A contractor managed by Shared Access.

Q: How many lighting structures are involved and at what height?
A: This will be determined by each sites requirement. However typically this would include 4 x 18m structures.

Q: How long will the installation take?
A: Approximately 4 weeks for the final installation and prior to that time will be spent completing site investigation, design and planning permission.
Q: Will the development cause much disruption to normal Club activities?
A: While disruption will be site specific it will be minimal and discussed and agreed with the Club prior to works commencing.

Q: Who maintains the lights after they are installed?
A: Shared Access includes a maintenance programme for the duration of the agreement with Shared Access.

Q: What is the situation regarding the equipment for the wireless operators and where will it be housed?
A: The equipment will be in outdoor cabinets in a location agreed with the Club.

Q: What is the H&S situation regarding wireless installations and who controls same?
A: Shared Access will ensure that all wireless providers comply with the ICNIRP Guidelines.

Q: Who does the Club approach if they have any H&S queries from members or the general public?
A: Shared Access will supply information on H&S or can be contacted directly in relation to any queries.

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