WOLVERHAMPTON RUGBY UNION FOOTBALL CLUB LTD.
Development Newsletter May 2016
As members may be aware, the club committee has for some time been looking at the refurbishment of the facilities and to this end have applied for grant funding from a number of bodies without success. However, last year we were fortunate to secure a significant grant from Sport England and funding from the RFU. This grant funding can only be used for the refurbishment of the internal facilities related to playing sport. No significant grant funding is available for refurbishment of the clubhouse social facilities as the awarding bodies’ focus is on sports development and related facilities.
For some time now the committee has been deliberating to the best way forward as we are concerned that income generation through the social facilities is also critical to the club’s sustainability moving forward. To this end we have developed a five-year strategic plan which is available on the website and describes in detail our vision for the future.
We are a key part of the RFU’s playing strategy as well as Sport England’s participation strategy for sport and this is reflected in the award of grant to a level which is unprecedented locally and regionally. We know we have excellent external playing facilities and poor inadequate internal changing and toilet facilities. We also understand that the clubhouse also needs to be addressed in terms of income potential in the future.
You may also be aware that planning permission to give us extra capacity to develop income within the clubhouse has been difficult to the point that we were refused second storey permission to enable this. In other words, if we had the funding to enable the social/bar area refurbishment we could not carry out the development to the restricted planning permission. Also the funding granted is only available for a certain time and if projects do not complete then the funding is withdrawn. Therefore, this time pressure has meant we have had to make some hard choices in terms of design, scope, cost and available funding.
What are we going to do?
As a committee we have decided to ensure and maximise the use of the grant funding which will give us more changing facilities but also facilities that meet national RFU standards, as well new infrastructure related to hot water/heating and showering and drainage. The new facilities also include toilet facilities, storage and officials changing rooms. The plan will enable us to use the grant funding whilst giving us time to possibly resubmit for planning permission to complete a two storey extension or consider other options.
We are in a fantastic and enviable position to take all this forward with multiple promotion and success on the field, a fantastic but embryonic girls/women’s section and the highest mini/junior participation in the region. These facilities and the longer term strategy will allow us to continue to thrive, develop more income and to attract players from across the city and further afield.
We will develop this in two phases with the playing facilities and infrastructure project going ahead immediately but it’s really important that all members appreciate the funding challenges and the reality of not being able to do everything all at once. As a condition of RFU funding we completed their ‘survey monkey’ and with the largest response they have ever had our members told them and us that internal facilities at the club were dilapidated and out of date.
Significant funding has been pledged by members and sponsors along with the grant funding and funding from by the club itself to enable this to happen; but we need all your help and support to secure funding over the summer and beyond through individuals, companies and through sponsorship and patronage.