As club chairman, it is very pleasing to report that the clubhouse relocation project is making good progress as many of you heard first hand from Bob Smith and Chris Bard at the update prior to the AGM. Members will have seen the first phase of the new business park spine road has now been constructed. This road will provide access to the new clubhouse location. The next major activity is the laying of the utility services and these should be completed by the end of the year.
Our new pitch area has already been seeded and looks fantastic (below), and the new grass is well established. Planning consent for the construction of the new clubhouse was finally obtained from Rochford District Council on the 15th of June and the main construction contractor for the new clubhouse has been selected by the site developer.
It is expected that the build programme for the new clubhouse and car parks will take 47 weeks and the contractor is expected to start in early September. The new clubhouse should be operational for the beginning of the 2018/19 season and the finer details of the new clubhouse design are close to being decided. Final proposed details of the interior will be made available for members shortly.
Three key legal agreements are needed with Southend Borough Council; a new clubhouse lease agreement, a new pitch license and an over-arching relocation agreement. These agreements are already well progressed and discussions continue daily.
To safeguard the long-term security of tenure for Westcliff Rugby Club, I have been decided to extend the clubhouse lease back to a duration of 60 years. The associated lease extension of 30 years needs to be purchased from Southend Borough Council and the cost for this has been established as around £65,000. A club fundraising campaign will be undertaken during the coming months to help raise the necessary funds and it is hoped that members from all areas of the club will make donations.
These are exciting times for Westcliff Rugby Club, we will soon have the best rugby playing facilities in the region and a fabulous new larger clubhouse will allow the club’s playing membership to grow even larger.
Pete Jones and the Steering Committee