Banbury Rugby Club is finally able to look to the future with great optimism as it has secured the long-term tenure of its Bodicote Park site.
On Friday the club signed a 100-year lease with Cherwell District Council.
The short-term nature of its previous lease obstructed access to funding, a major stumbling block to plans to replace the club’s severely dilapidated clubhouse.
The club is engaging with architects and developers so designs for the new clubhouse can be swiftly put before its members and the planning authority. It has also embarked on a major fundraising drive to finance the improvements.
Once the new clubhouse is built, the club will turn its attention to raising funds to finance the purchase of the freehold to its Bodicote Park site. This would allow further improvements to be made to the playing facilities, potentially including the installation of an all-weather playing surface.
Club Officer Tim Rogers said: “Securing the long-term tenure of the site means that there are now several potential sources of grant-aid to which we can apply. We have already received positive indications from both sports and philanthropic sources that mean we can now progress our plans with a high degree of confidence.
“We really want other sports and community groups in the town to use the building and are interested to hear from anyone who would want to know more.”
Club Chairman John Colegrave added: “This is a very exciting juncture in the history of Banbury Rugby Club, a history that stretches back to 1925.
“For some time now we have been constrained by our off-field facilities, particularly in our desire to grow player numbers in the youth and community sides of our activities.
“The new clubhouse as envisaged will allow us to fully deliver on our promise of being the region’s most go-ahead rugby club, and to extend the club’s use into the wider local community.”
The club anticipates starting construction of the new clubhouse in spring 2014 so that it is ready for use as soon as possible after the start of the 2014/15 season.
To find out more about using the building call either Mr Rogers on 07885 486536 or Simon Grieve on 07768 696896 or e-mail email@example.com