Thursday, 27 January 2011

Lindum Rugby CLub 'Reasonably Confident' of Move to Village

Rugby Club remain 'reasonably confident' of moving to their new ground in Nettleham on time despite so far raising just a 10th of the cash required, report the Lincolnshire Echo today.

The Red & Greens are pressing ahead with plans to move from their existing base at The Lindum to the £1.4m facility, although the date has now been pushed back from January 2012 to the start of the 2012/13 season, which is likely to be September.

Funding for the switch comes from a variety of sources, including £100,000 from West Lindsey District Council's Leisure Capital Investment Fund.

But that funding is dependent on the club raising a significant amount of the overall total – around £500,000 – themselves.

Moving away from The Lindum to bigger premises has been a decade-long search for the Midlands Two East (North) side, and the new project at Lodge Farm, off Lodge Lane, will include a new clubhouse, pavilion, four full-size pitches and seven smaller pitches on 32.5 acres of land in the village.

The land is owned by the University of Lincoln, and it is hoped their American football, rugby union and rugby league sides could use the facilities.

Andy Owen, who is heading up fundraising efforts at the club, is reported to have said:

"We've raised £50,000 so far but we need to find another £450,000, we know it's not going to be easy. The club has to be careful because some of the funding is time-dependent, and some needs to be spent by next spring, but I have a few irons in the fire.

"I'm confident of reaching the target and reasonably confident of doing so on time.

"This move is important to us because there are major problems down at the club now due to a lack of space.

"Because of a lack of facilities, we lose younger players to other clubs. Those who live in Bracebridge Heath go to Sleaford, those in North Hykeham go to Newark, and so on. We want them to stay here.

"The trend at the moment is for more and more students to go to local universities due to costs so we'd hope they would remain at the club. That's why the move to Nettleham is so important."

Mr. Owen said the reason for pushing back the planned move date was to give new turf time to bed in at the venue.

"It came down to how long it took from putting the seed down to the pitch being completely ready," he said.

"What we didn't want to do is to move into a new clubhouse without the pitch being ready."
The club has a programme of fundraising events which includes a Sportsman's Dinner in April with Andy Nicol and John Bentley. This follows on from a Past Players' day.

For further information about the Sportsman's Dinner or any other aspect of contributing to Lincoln RFC's move to Nettleham, contact Andy Owen on (01673) 861653

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