Mon 14 Nov 2022 16:06

Please read on, for the latest information, progress and next steps on the potential relocation of the Wimborne Rugby Football Club, and to see how you can be involved.

HISTORY

To assist in putting the current position in context.

Whilst Leigh Park has been the home of the club for the greater part of its existence, the opportunities to grow the club and expand its facilities and activities on the existing site has always been seen as extremely limited.

The Club has worked with current Local Government partners and many other bodies for a period, in excess of twenty years, with the view to identifying and considering the opportunity for a suitable and sustainable alternative site within the proximity of the centre of Wimborne.

Within the last three years, two planning applications have been submitted by Gleesons Strategic Land Limited, both including the provision of as new site for the Club have been considered and approved by East Dorset District Council Planning Committee.

  • In September 2017 planning consent was granted by East Dorset District Council for a site to provide suitable space for the relocation of the rugby club, but with only very limited financial support coming from the adjoining housing development.

  • In March 2019 a second application was granted to provide additional housing on the site originally identified for the rugby club, but with a requirement on the site developer to construct a sports village including the rugby club on the adjoining site.

  • In December 2020 the Council entered into a Planning Agreement with the landowner for the provision of the facilities at Quarter Jack Park.

The current scheme and the requirements set out in the accompanying Planning Agreement with the developer, provides possibly the only remaining opportunity to secure a solution to provide an alternative site within reasonable proximity of the town centre

WRFC has been working with Dorset Council to develop plans for the sports facility and the Council has completed a Planning Agreement with the landowner, which sets out the basis on which the facilities will be provided. This makes provision for WRFC to be the lead sports club to take occupancy of the sports facility.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

There are still several unknowns with taking on the new sports facility. In order to help our membership understand what a potential move could look and feel like, the WRFC Management Committee has determined that we should endeavour to introduce a new impetus to the project. This project will be a collaborative way of building our collective understanding of what a potential move might look like before communicating back to our membership for all necessary approvals in accordance with the Club’s Constitution before a final decision is made on the move.

The timeline for this to take place is not quite clear at present, as the timing of a move will be very much determined by how quickly the houses are built and sold at Quarter Jack Park in phase 2 of the development.

Meanwhile to ensure the Club is best positioned to meet all the many issues that will arise we are now looking for additional volunteers to join our project team to help fill key roles and deliver our project.

We are looking for anyone with the following experience or who would like to get involved with:

  1. Communications and Stakeholder Engagement to keep our membership and key external stakeholders informed on the projects journey.
  2. Marketing and business planning to help us build a business case for the potential new site to help inform our membership of what revenue opportunities may be available to us.
  3. Sports facility management so we can build a picture of how we could and should run a new sports facility and what changes would be required from how we manage the club today.

We understand that a potential move of our home base will be unsettling for some and exciting for others.

The Relocation Project team will be on hand to listen to your feedback and will seek to understand points of view.

In the meantime, if you want to get involved, or wish to share your thoughts, please contact us via nsteele@hotmail.co.uk

Facebook