Wells Rugby Club told independence won't be effected by move
WELLS Rugby Club received assurances about its independence when the plans for the new shared sports ground were revealed at the clubhouse on Tuesday night.
Mendip District Council’s proposal for a joint sports ground in Haybridge made some club members ask what they would gain from sharing with other clubs and who would be in charge.
When a party from Mendip gave a presentation to members at the clubhouse someone asked if they were discussing the prospect of a joint club.
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Councillor John Parham said: “No, it’s a sports hub that would provide facilities for lots of clubs.”
Chris Bevan, from consultants Sports Solutions, cited a similar project in Wootton Basset, where several clubs shared one ground with lots of pitches and facilities. He said: “All the clubs there have separate bank accounts. You won’t lose your identity.”
The rugby club is far more advanced than other sports clubs in its plans to move to Haybridge.
Land in the village was bought in 2009 but it has yet to move forward with plans to sell their current site.
One member asked whether the project was worth it. He said: “It seems to me that Mendip are making things hard for us. All the football club want is an extension of their lease. You’re well within your right to give that to them. Why are you giving us their problems?”
Councillor Tom Killen said that Mendip had a covenant on the rugby club’s current land which meant that it is entitled to 50 per cent of the money from its sale.
He and Mr Parham said that by investing in the Haybridge site the council would be able to deliver 100 per cent of what the rugby club wanted instead of them just getting 50 per cent by going on their own.
Richard Hibberd, one of the club’s directors, said: “This is why we’ve waited since we bought the land four years ago. Without this all we could do at Haybridge is replicate what we have here. Instead, what we have will be a centre of excellence.”
Come back at 11am to see what Haybridge thinks about the news both Wells Football Club and Wells Rugby Club are coming to the village.