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Plans for new sports ground in Newbury announced

Newbury Rugby Club selected as preferred site

Sports pitch

Newbury Rugby Club has been identified as the preferred site for a new sports facility in the town.

West Berkshire Council and Newbury Rugby Club have already held preliminary discussions about building the new sports facility on part of the site in Monks Lane. Next week, the Council's Executive will meet to consider a recommendation that formal discussions with Newbury Rugby Club begin, with the aim of opening the sports facility in March 2022.

Under the proposals, the new facility will include a high-quality artificial grass pitch, stadium, floodlights, changing room as well as a function room. The facility will be available for community use for rugby, football and other sports and activities.

The new facility will help deliver the Council's Playing Pitch Strategy, and will provide a Step 6 facility - which means teams will have the facilities needed to play in higher leagues. It will also serve as a replacement for the Faraday Road Sports Ground, which closed ahead of the regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate.

West Berkshire Council will be holding a consultation to seek the public's views on the proposal to develop a new sports ground with Newbury Rugby Club. Details of the consultation, which will be open for six weeks, will be available on the Council's consultation portal. Once open, details will also be published on the Council's social media channels. You can now sign up to receive updates about our work on the new sports ground direct to your inbox - which will include details of the consultation once it goes live.  

Speaking about the proposals Councillor Howard Woollaston, Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, said:

"Having spent some time looking for a site for a new sports ground I'm delighted we now have somewhere which could meet the community's needs. It will provide improved sports facilities for local sports groups and will be capable of hosting higher level competitive football and rugby matches, as well as year-round training.

"It is a site for the whole community, for amateur as well as more professional teams and able to be used for a wide variety of sports. We want to encourage more opportunities for people to take part in physical activity and this will help provide new options for exercise for people who enjoy sports."

David Jones, President of Newbury Rugby Club said:

"As landlord, Newbury Rugby Club will be seeking to underline our continued objective to be a key community sports club for Newbury and surrounding area, developing modern facilities and improving our long term sustainability. We are very supportive of the councils objective to offer sporting opportunities for all age groups locally and we already have 600 playing members at the club. The proposal from the Council, we hope, will align with the continued development of rugby and the wider development of sport in the Newbury area."

The report which will be considered by the Executive on 14th January 2021 is available to read here. The meeting, which starts at 5pm, will be streamed on our YouTube channel.