When I took over as Chairman – I set-out that a key area of focus would be to establish a realistic and achievable development plan. My published target was to have a vision and plans in place to deliver progress on our priorities of pitch quality, clubhouse and increased parking.
Since then, in common with many other local clubs, we have had ongoing problems with pitch-availability. St. Mark’s has been soggy much earlier, and longer than we typically experience. Not only does this impact the rugby, it also impact the vibe and community-feel of the club. #OneTWRFC is much harder to achieve when we are seldom all together.
As a board we have decided that addressing this is our foremost development priority. We wish to see TWRFC have the facilities to enable rugby to be played at St. Mark’s for the entire season. As a result we are now actively exploring the viability of installing a 3G artificial playing surface at St. Mark’s. We see this as the best (and perhaps only) way of ensuring that rugby can be played at the club throughout the season.
A 3G pitch is no small undertaking. In addition to the astronomical cost (probably in excess of £800k), nearly all of which would requiring raising by the club, there are also planning considerations and approval to attain. At this point we are exploring if the plan is feasible, and whilst we are optimistic, we are not yet sure if the plan can be achieved in 18months, 10years or perhaps not at all.
Even so, I felt this was the right time to share the vision. Not least because we now need your help. We are particularly looking for help from anybody with these skills:
- Traffic Consultant
- Planning Consultant
- Millionaire Philanthropist
- Grants & Fund-raising
- GeoTech Engineer
- Ecology Consultant
- Project Manager
- Quantity Surveyor
- Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
if you are able to assist please speak to Martin Croker, Simon Hughes or Richard Bains. I think they may need all the help they can get.
Our conceptual design (kindly supplied by our sponsor Minifie Architects) is below. This places the 3G pitch next to our current first-team pitch, and also adds additional parking adjacent to the 2nd and 3rd team pitches.
Without wanting to over-caveat this. This is only a working draft – anything and everything could change as we assess the feasibility of the project, our ability to raise the funds, and planning considerations.
I hope you join me in seeing a great future for rugby at St. Mark’s. I will share more information as it becomes available.