Southwold Rugby Clubhouse ready for business
Southwold RFC new clubhouse will be opened by Brian Williams, President of the RFU on Sunday 28th September
The new sports pavilion which is home to Suffolk club Southwold RFC will be opened officially by Brian Williams, President of the Rugby Football Union, on Sunday, September 28.
There has been a complete transformation with a £460,000 rebuild of the clubhouse, which is also used by Southwold Cricket Club and Sole Bay United Football Club, and owned by Southwold and Reydon Recreational Development Council, a local charity.
The Rugby Football Union contributed £125,000 in the form of a £40,000 loan and £6000 grant from the Rugby Football Foundation plus £79,000 of RFU monies from the National Sports Foundation. There was a further matched grant of £125,000 from the National Sports Foundation which is administered by Sport England. And the project which was six years in the planning and building would never have reached completion without the support of Southwold Town Council and the Southwold Trust.
Southwold RFC will celebrate the official opening when their 1st XV take on a President’s XV while Southwold Cricket Club will play Sole Bay United FC in a 20/20 cricket match.
Robert Temple, President of Southwold RFC and Trustee of Southwold and Reydon Recreational Development Council said: "This has been a long and arduous journey which a small number of us have traversed from start to finish and without which this magnificent new facility for the community would not have come into being.
“David Vaughan, the rugby club’s project manager, and I are hugely grateful for the support from the RFU and also numerous community groups, especially Southwold Town Council and the Southwold Trust who gave us the original pledges from which everything else has flowed."
The previous building was a ‘temporary’ structure constructed in the 1960s and extended twice in the 1980s which was totally unsuitable for the demands of modern sport and recreation.
If funding had not been secured for the replacement, the three clubs would have either had to relocate, amalgamate with neighbouring clubs or simply fold.
Sport England East's Regional Director, Chris Perks commented: "The new sports pavilion is a great example of how National Sports Foundation funding can improve the sporting experience for rugby, cricket and football players within Southwold.
“It puts all three sports based at the pavilion on a firm foundation to attract new players and retain those who are already club members."
The single storey pavilion comprises four RFU-compliant changing rooms and toilet facilities, two changing rooms for officials, an equipment store, lavatory for the disabled, kitchen and clubroom. With two separate banks of changing rooms with their own showers there can now be simultaneous male and female rugby fixtures.
“The President's XV will see a number of former players return to the club which gave them their first opportunity in the rugby family to help celebrate a new dawn for Southwold sport,” said Temple.