Reigate Rugby Football Club wanted to:
- Build a 3/4 sized training pitch on land currently untouched for years with overgrown trees, grass and brambles
- Extend their car park by building additional car parking spaces to meet demand
- Build an extension onto their current clubhouse. This would include; changing rooms, disabled facilities, showers and toilets
- Pave and repave two sides of the clubhouse to improve accessibility, which has seriously deteriorated.
Why was it needed?
Reigate Rugby FC only has 2 full-size pitches that are used 5 days a week throughout the whole year for matches and for youth and adult training sessions. Their current pitches were designed when the club was running two senior teams, however the club has successfully grown their mini’s section and more recently their youth section. They were at the point where they simply couldn’t cope with the increased numbers of young players or the teams and initiatives they wanted to develop and required a training/mini’s match pitch for these young players to play on.
The land on which the 3/4 training pitch was proposed to be built was sloping, unused and overgrown and hadn’t been untouched for years, covered in trees, grass and brambles
The club needed to build an additional 33 car parking spaces to meet increasing demand. The car park is an important part of their facility. It is where parents/spectators, local residents and the wider community park to; watch matches, meet up, socialise with other families/friends, attend functions and community events. It also helped to support parking for several events including their annual fireworks/bonfire night, the Reigate Music Festival, Music Nights, the Reigate Community Festival, Reigate & Banstead Festival of Sport and the YMCA annual Charity Fun Run.
On many occasions people would turn up and couldn’t get parked. This created a chaotic environment and led to ‘on street’ parking, resulting in complaints from local residents.
Due to the lack of space within the clubhouse it had become very cramped and uncomfortable, and there is no adequate changing facilities, especially for girls, disabled facilities, showers and toilets to cater for this increased use. The lack of space was also impacting on the community use and private functions the club offered.
Based on the above, they were at capacity and needed to extend their existing clubhouse to accommodate the growing number of teams, groups and local residents who wishing to use the clubhouse.
The club needed to pave and repave two sides of the clubhouse to improve accessibility, which had seriously deteriorated. They also needed to replace and extend their patio area which was half wood and half concrete, as it was both hazardous and dangerous, and becoming unusable, e.g. the wood area was rotting, had moss and plants growing through it making the area very slippery and dangerous when wet. The concrete paving slabs had become very uneven/unsteady, when walked on causing a serious slip/trip hazard. Many of the slabs have broken, cracked and sunk, with the top surface ‘worn’ smooth meaning it had lost its grip becoming very slippery when wet.
What difference did it make?
Once cleared, flattened and seeded the training pitch become a graded area for their mini and youth section’s to use, whilst also freeing up more space on the other pitches for proposed initiatives/teams they wanted to develop.
Gaining more parking space, helped to make the facility more accessible to community groups, visitors, players, parents, and family members. It enabled the club to accommodate current usage, improve relationships with residents, and more importantly the safety of users. It also enabled the club to attract more people to the club whether that be to play rugby, social use or to attend our activities and events. In addition, it has enabled the club to plan/shape their future activities and events, by knowing they were able to cater for larger numbers.
By extending their clubhouse they were able to provide a facility the whole community could use, offering more opportunities for local people to get involved in the club, whether that be through playing rugby or attending one of the many social activities and events provided from the club.
As part of the extension they built new changing rooms and showers, plus new toilets, accessible from the outside for their teams, other sports clubs, schools, community groups and local residents to use. This has created a larger, warmer, more modern space for those that use it, plus suitable changing rooms, especially for girls, showers and toilets.
The patio area is an important part of the clubs building. It is where;
- parents/spectators watch matches
- players and other people use to get to and from the car park to the clubhouse or to and from the clubhouse to the playing/training pitches
- people socialise on (especially in the summer)
- local people use for functions
- they provide a spectator point for community events e.g. bonfire/fireworks display, tournaments etc.
By improving this area they have created spaces that people can use, not only the current players/users groups but also future groups, local residents, spectators and parents – an inclusive amenity for the whole community to use.
How did they make it happen?
After speaking to us the club asked Funding 4 Sport to write an application which we did, helping them to receive £45k to contribute towards this work. See before and after photos below:
After speaking to us the club asked Funding 4 Sport to write an application which we did, helping them to receive £10k to contribute towards this work. See before and after photos below:
After speaking to us the club asked Funding 4 Sport to write an application which we did, helping them to receive £54k to contribute towards this work. See before and after photos below:
After getting the funding above, Reigate Rugby Football Club were able to fund this themselves.
On the help of Funding 4 Sport, John Mckee, the club president said ‘Funding 4 Sport very quickly grasped what our community club stood for and with their guidance enabled us to present ourselves in the right way. If it wasn’t for Richard, we could have wasted so much time and volunteer goodwill, but his depth of experience and credibility enabled us to fulfil our vision for the next generation of rugby players.’
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