BRADFORD on Avon Rugby Club are hoping to usher in a host of new faces at their Ashley Lane home after they were awarded just under £50,000 of National Lottery funding to revamp their facilities.
The club’s ambitions were handed a boost after they received a windfall of £48,034 from Sport England's Inspired Facilities Fund, a chunk of the £135 million Places People Play programme, which aims to help sports clubs around the country improve their facilities as a legacy of last summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With their hearty cash prize in tow, the club are plotting to build extra changing facilities, storage facilities and an area for indoor sports.
Chairman Mike Mizen said: “Back in 2003 we had a large grant of National Lottery funding from Sport England to first set up the club, which was about £240,000, but it’s great that we’re going to have the chance to get our facilities up to speed to where we are now.
“The club isn’t just about rugby – we have archery, the youth football club, the swimming club and the rowing club who all use our facilities, as well as a cricket square.
“At the moment, we’ve only got four changing rooms and things can get quite tight when you’ve got a lot of people in there. We really need some dedicated storage areas and our only indoor area that’s available to people is the bar, which isn’t exactly the ideal place for winter training.
“We’ve got two options that we’re going to have meetings about, which are extending the facilities we already have to creating a standalone building. Everything that we want to do should cost us around £78,000 and this obviously helps us out in a huge way.
“We want to increase participation and that’s exactly what the Olympic legacy is all about.”
Derek Hunt, a trustee of Bradford and Winsley Community and Sports Association, said: “I think that this is fantastic news and helping out community clubs is exactly what Sport England should be doing.”