HENLEY Rugby Club is to refurbish its all-weather pitch.
The TigerTurf surface at Dry Leas, which is used for training and by visiting schools and clubs, needs patching up to meet health and safety standards set by the Rugby Football Union.
Club chairman Mike Trethewey said: “When it was first put down 10 years ago, surfaces like this were a pretty new thing. The manufacturer, quite sensibly, gave it a 10-year life expectancy as they didn’t know how long it was going to last.” The pitch has been inspected and a report will be prepared outlining what work is needed and at what cost. Mr Trethewey said: “As far as I can tell, the pitch needs patching up in places.”
Town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith has donated £2,000 towards the repairs from his Big Society budget. He said: “Although this grant is only £2,000, every little helps.”
Last month, Mr Trethewey told the council that the club was losing up to £30,000 a year and could be forced to quit National League 1 if it did not improve its finances. The club requested its next two annual rent repayments of £4,000 be waived by the town council, a rent freeze until 2018, a 10-year extension on the deadline of a £30,000 loan due to be repaid in 2016 and a £2,000 grant to fund the compulsory 10-year technical inspection of the all-weather pitch.
Mr Trethewey said: “The town council are our landlords and they totally appreciate the worth of the club and the value it gives the community. What they did after the meeting was set up a sub-group to help the club and that is considering the requests I made.”