Rugby club to raise clubhouse funds

Topsham Rugby Club is embarking on a massive fundraising drive to help build a new clubhouse.

The club’s existing building is an old army hut which was purchased for �50 around 25 years ago, and is badly in need of replacement.

The rugby club, which shares its ground with Topsham St James Cricket Club, has outline planning permission for a new clubhouse, which is expected to cost around �500,000 to build.

The club is hoping to secure grant funding from bodies such as Sport England, the National Lottery and the RFU, but is still planning to raise �100,000 towards the cost of the development.

To do this, a series of fundraising events are planned for the coming months – starting with the club’s annual bonfire night celebration this weekend.

The rugby club has grown rapidly in recent years, with two senior teams, and around 300 youngsters involved in its youth programme.

It has also changed its status from that of a private members club to that of a charity, to make fundraising easier.

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The club plans to apply to Sport England by Christmas, and expects the deadline for fundraising to be next May.

Club PR officer Will Carden said: “We’re looking for any donations, sponsorship, or offers of assistance in other ways.

“It’s about creating a sustainable facility on a wider scale for the local community, not just for the rugby and cricket clubs.

“We’ve also had some interest from the Devon Disability Trust, who might want to use a new facility, and the clubhouse would lend itself to functions.”

This year’s bonfire night celebration takes place this Saturday, November 5, at the club’s ground on Topsham Road. Gates open at 6pm, fire lighting at 7pm and fireworks at 7.30pm. Admission is �5 for adults and �3 for under 12s.