Friday, 15 December 2017

£100k grants for skate park and rugby club

PLANS to refurbish Henley Rugby Club and replace the town?s skate park are both set to receive a £100,000 cash boost.

PLANS to refurbish Henley Rugby Club and replace the town?s skate park are both set to receive a £100,000 cash boost.

A South Oxfordshire District Council committee has recommended awarding them the money from its communities capital grants scheme. The rugby club is trying to raise £475,000 for an overhaul of its clubhouse at Dry Leas, off Marlow Road.

It has raised £110,000 from members and is hoping for £75,000 from Lafarge and to raise the rest from grants, including £200,000 from Henley Town Council, which owns the land. Club chairman Mike Trethewey gave a presentation to the council?s capital grants committee on Tuesday.

Afterwards, he said: ?We?re absolutely delighted with the result and thank the district council for its thoroughness.

?We appreciate that it?s public money they?re giving out and that they have to be rigorous but we pointed out a few things we felt had been overlooked. It?s a very satisfactory conclusion.?

The new clubhouse was given planning permission last year. It will have a new bar, kitchen and toilets and seating for up to 200 diners.

It will be the first step in an extensive redevelopment of the club, which could be carried out in four phases over the next five years.

The second phase will be a new single-storey £300,000 extension with four new changing rooms.

The club would then like to upgrade its existing changing rooms and build a new stand with media centre and disabled viewing area and toilets. In all, the scheme could cost between £1.27million and £1.78million.

The committee also recommended giving Henley Town Council £100,000 for the new skate park in Makins recreation ground, off Greys Road.

The £250,000 ?wheeled sports facility? will measure 850 sq m, more than twice the size of the existing one, and cater for skateboarders, BMX bikers and roller skaters. It was awarded planning permission in March last year.

Its obstacles will be made of concrete instead of hollow metal so they will be less noisy. They will be surrounded by a bank of earth with new trees, benches, bins and a water fountain.

Officers prioritised the project as the town council had ?good management plans? for both the build and maintenance. They said the whole community would benefit because of the new landscaping. Councillor Elizabeth Gillespie, the council?s cabinet member for development, will make the final decision in two weeks but it is understood she is ?happy? with the recommendations.

Henley councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, a member of the committee, spoke in favour of the applications alongside Mayor Lorraine Hillier.

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