Members and friends of TWRFC
I wanted to write to you to give you an update on the ‘Future of the club’ work. It has been three months since I last updated you and nearly two years since we started the work stream.
Firstly, our original plan of improving the playing surface at St Marks. Remembering this is part of our overall playing surface strategy and was to guarantee us a playing surface at St Marks. We have recently invested heavily into pitches 2 and 3 which has seen a marked improvement in their availability. We are also investing across all pitches this summer to further encourage grass growth and further strengthen the pitches.
However, our main work area was to apply for planning permission to place an alternative grass pitch alongside pitch 1. This has been an incredibly long, drawn out process where many challenges are placed in front of us. We have worked with the planners, our friends in the Cricket Club, our neighbours and of course relied on endless volunteer support from friends of the club. We recently had a very encouraging meeting with both council planners where they seem supportive of what we are trying to achieve and the community benefit of doing so. However, we have had to resubmit our application as we have moved the cricket square since the original application. Some of the more alert members spotted this!! We will be resubmitting this week and will ask for your support again by offering your encouragement for the application to the planners.
Secondly, in March I made you aware of an alternative scenario that has been under discussion. This would mean the possibility of us relocating to an alternative, and much larger, site; offering the club the opportunity to design the layout of the site and the clubhouse to our own specification. Along with a larger custom-built clubhouse, we could have parking for several hundred cars, pitches (adult rugby, youth rugby and cricket) and an alternative grass pitch. This would enable us to have a community based, multi-sport site that would be best in class in the County. We continue to discuss this option with the developer and our neighbours. We will keep you posted on progress as and when it occurs.
As for timescales for both options, I would hope to have an update for members on both scenarios before the start of next season.
I hope to see you at the AGM on the 15th June and will of course take any questions you may have.