Project 55

Lancashire FA Launches ‘Project 55’

A fund to support coaches and referees from underrepresented groups

Lancashire FA is delighted to announce the launch of a dedicated fund to help develop coaches and referees from traditionally underrepresented communities, as part of its commitment to increasing the number of coaches and referees from all backgrounds and supporting them on their pathway of development.

The initiative entitled ‘Project 55 – Redressing the Balance’ will commit £6,000 to support up to 55 individuals over the next 12 months. The fund will be open to new or existing coaches and referees who live in the Lancashire FA area or coach / referee in a Lancashire FA affiliated team or league. The funding will run for 12 months or until funds have expired and will be open to people from ethnically diverse communities.

The fund, which was announced at Lancashire FA’s Black History Month event held last month at the County Ground in Leyland, is designed to encourage people to take up coaching or refereeing and will support our objective to inspire the next generation of coaches and referees.

Jo Ashworth, Head of Football Delivery at Lancashire FA, said “Lancashire FA is working hard to better understand the reasons why certain groups in our communities across the county are underrepresented within the game’s workforce, whether that be in coaching or refereeing. Through ongoing consultation via our Football Advisory Boards, especially in relation to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and increased engagement with all our clubs, our aim is to make real progress in this area. We hope this fund will leave a real legacy on the back of our recent successful Black History Month event, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of this initiative.”

Raj Randhawa, Northern Grassroots Officer at Kick it Out, added "The football industry needs to give historically underrepresented groups the confidence that roles are there and that they are open for everybody. Project 55 does this and it is great commitment by Lancashire FA to address the underrepresentation in the football workforce within their county. So, I say to all those aspiring coaches and referees, register for Project 55, get your qualifications so you can join the pathway. From there, collectively we can positively change the representation so everyone can make a difference to the industry. The football workforce must be more reflective of society across all positions within our game.”

Fund Details 

Apply via the following link:

Project 55 Form


Introduction to Coaching Football: 12 part-funded places with a 60% reduction (Full course cost £160, candidates to pay £64)
UEFA C: 8 part-funded places with a 20% reduction (Full course cost £500, candidates to pay £400)
UEFA B: 5 part-funded places with a 20% reduction (Full course cost £960, candidates to pay £768)


FA Refereeing Course: 15 part-funded places with a 50% reduction (Full course cost £130, candidates to pay £65)
Starter kit worth £90 (shorts, shirt, socks) provided to 15 new referees (above)
Promotion Candidates: 15 fully funded promotion fees

To see highlights of the Black History Month event held recently at Lancashire FA, head to