Egremont Rangers needed to change their playing season to March to November thereby aligning to other teams under the auspices of the Rugby Football League within the UK. However this meant they were unable to continue sharing the playing surface with the local Cricket Club and the pitch needed to be moved.
The change of playing seasons meant the club could also be used more extensively with U8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16 and two open age teams all using the same facility. The Club was keen to increase opportunities for rugby development and playing amongst these groups and increase the numbers of junior players continuing into the senior game, through engaging in constructive and healthy activities.
It also meant that to continue its services to all community users the clubhouse desperately needed refurbishment. Income from the clubhouse being the primary means to sustain the Club by providing changing facilities, refreshment facilities and functions rooms and also to strengthen the bonds between the Club and the local community.
For such a large project the Club decided that a phased approach was the most effective way to achieve all that needed to be done.
The work included demolishing the existing stand, perimeter wall and floodlights, constructing a new playing surface and building a new viewing stand, fence and floodlights (Phase 1 and 1a). Phase 2 included refurbishing the clubhouse and provision of disabled access to pitch area and clubhouse.
The Club also applied in September 2012 for a Copeland Community Fund Development Grant to enable them to undertake an energy audit. They were successful in getting a grant for £750. This enabled them to consider options for further energy improvement and potential for renewable energy use.
John Brocklebank,Chair, of Egremont Rangers said “The project has transformed the club and playing field. Our future is secured with a clubhouse now capable of bringing in new business and with first class changing facilities. Local businesses are now using the facility and private party bookings have been secured creating much needed revenue. At the opening of the field Jamie Reed (Copeland MP) was impressed with the new facilities and the visiting team from Leeds said that this is one of the best pitches in the country.”
“We are very proud of the new facility and we thank all our sponsor but especially CCF, without which we could never have delivered this project. A special thank you to Paula Ratcliffe from CCF who helped us from the start to the finish, she was inspirational, resilient and trustworthy throughout.”
The project received further funding from , Rugby Football League, Sport England, WREN, CWMET, Home Group, Hartley’s and also their own funds.