Almost all the last three years have been spent cementing a favourable position to move the development forward. This has involved us securing an additional 23 acres of land, which had kindly been agreed to by Gill Hudson and the existing tenant, whilst working closely with the RFU, FA, ECB and other funders together with various planning authorities. This resulted in us receiving planning permission in January 2011 to develop the site. We also secured a £20,000 grant from Green Leeds to start pitch and land improvements. The planning permission gives us scope to develop the following.
Phase 1 - To begin immediately, with active use of the pitches from the start of the 2011/12 season.
- 2 new rugby pitches
- 4 new football pitches
- 1 new cricket pitch with an all weather wicket
- Plenty of rotational training areas
- Additional Car Parking
- Improvements to the approach road.
The initial Green Leeds grant has supported fencing works, an all weather cricket wicket, pitch improvement, a refurbished and extended playground, the removal of the 'hump' at the end of the car park to improve pitch access and extend car parking. Final works will involves a family picnic area and horticultural planting.
Phase 2 - The main development phase
- A new Club House, doubling the size of the social area so it can be used for private and community hire for parties / by community groups, dance, exercise classes, karate etc...
- 8 new changing rooms with integral showers and toilets
- New male and female officials changing rooms
- A physio's room
- New toilets
Ongoing meetings have been held by GPSC and the three member Clubs with the RFU, FA, ECB, Sport England, WREN and other potential funding bodies to generate support for this main phase of the development. Additionally member Clubs are busy fund raising to support and add to grant applications.
Certain pre-construction work went ahead being funded internally. After a tender process Northcroft's were appointed to manage the main tender process on behalf of Grange Park. This went ahead in early 2012 with prequalification of contractors, followed by the development of a short list of four who were given our detailed requirements. After submission of tenders and a detailed review by Northcroft's and Grange Park, Little & Co were appointed in May with work to commence when funding was complete.
Funding of the £600,000 project was finalised in early October which enabled the construction Contract with Little and Co to be signed with work commencing on site on Monday 5th. November (no, the old clubhouse was not burnt down - proper demolition contractors were used!!). Completion is scheduled for 19th. april 2013.
Phase 3 - There are various issues which will need to be dealt with after the main construction works to enable member clubs and community users best usage possibilities and to achieve the project vision of four years ago. These include
- Some internal items such as area division screens
- Fixtures and equipment such as additional furniture
- Surfacing the main car park
- Grasscreting the overflow car park
Costings for these items will be around £65,000 and member clubs have already started fundraising to meet this target.