Spalding Rugby Club has taken its first important steps in moving to a new home on the town’s outskirts.
More than £100,000 has been raised so far towards the rugby club’s “New Ground Project” which involves the purchase of 22 acres of land in Drain Bank North, off the A16 between Spalding and Cowbit.
The club has come a long way in developing this land, having secured this asset for the club into the futureMartin Beecham, Chairman of Spalding Rugby Club
Details of the move first emerged four years ago after its growing Minis, Juniors and Youth sections made it essential for the club to find a site big enough for both its younger and senior players.
Changing rooms are already in place at the new site, which has meant training sessions for all teams being moved from both Memorial Field, near Spalding Grammar School, and Tyrrells Yard, Fulney, to Drain Bank North.
Martin Beecham, Chairman of Spalding Rugby Club, said: “The club has been under pressure to consistently provide enough space for all of our Mini and Junior sections to play on and train week in and week out.
“This has not always been possible, particularly in the wet winter months, due to the requirements of Spalding Grammar School which manages the pitches for its own use.
“To this end, the club made a decision to purchase 22 acres of land at Drain Bank North to cater for our Juniors and Minis, as well as to develop a training facility for the Seniors.
“The club has come a long way in developing this land, including the provision of pitches to meet Rugby Football Union standards in drainage and layout, having secured this asset for the club into the future.”
Volunteers from Spalding Rugby Club, as well as a number of businesses, have been working hard to prepare the new ground for training and junior matches.
A new toilet block is nearly finished, electricity and water supplies are in the process of being installed and pitch improvements are ongoing.
But Martin said: “In terms of the next phase of development to ensure that our Junior and Mini sections are in place at the new ground for this coming season, as well as to provide floodlight training facilities, the club needs to raise a further £143,000.
“At this point in early August, the club has raised about £108,000, mainly through loans, with critical areas such as a hard standing car park and roadway having been completed and paid for.”
The club is holding a fundraising Bank Holiday Camping Event at Drain Bank North on Saturday, August 26, when guests can pay £20 to join in at a ‘Wild Family Party on the Pitch’ from 2pm.
In the meantime, senior matches will continue to be played at the Memorial Field site in St Thomas’s Road “for several season to come”, according to Martin.
He said: “The cost of providing floodlighting suitable to meet planning conditions and to accommodate both Seniors and Juniors is approximately £30,000.
“This is the bigger part of the £35,000 still to be raised to ensure that we have the best facilities possible in place by November.”