Racing Club Warwick is on the first steps to a more inclusive future with community rooms and even a nursery planned as part of major improvements.
The first of three phases of upgrades and changes is now underway in the first of three projects to make the sports club accessible to the whole town and not just the sporting community.
These works start a new era for the football clubGary Vella
The first series of work at the Warwick football club (RCWFC) includes removal of derelict buildings, new gates and perimeter fence, and resurfacing work to paved areas.
Work on the first stage will last up to five weeks at the St Mary’s Lands site in what has been welcomed by councillors and the community to bring more sporting opportunities for the whole town.
Gary Vella from the club said they were delighted to see things start after months of planning.
He said: “These works start a new era for the football club and will help generate wider community benefit through football, sports and non-sports community activities.
“Particularly in the areas of health and well-being, education skills and employment, social inclusion and volunteering.”
The next phase of upgrades will include new floodlighting, changing rooms and Football Association dug-outs and covered seats for supporters.
The rejuvenation project could cost up to £400,000 and will cover three phases.
It is all part of an agreement between the club and Warwick District Council to open the facilities up to be used by the whole town.
Future plans include using the main bar area as a community hall and bringing a children’s nursery onto the site to open it out to families.
Welcoming the changes, Cllr Noel Butler said: “Having been connected with the club for over seven years, I am delighted to see work here progressing well. This is a huge step forward for the town.”
Fellow district councillor, Martyn Ashford, said “This work symbolises a new start and we look forward to the next stage of developments with confidence.”
The changes are being made possible thanks to £50,000 in matched funding from the Football Association (FA), and ongoing partnership with the district council.
After digging into reserves to help the club attract the FA funding last year, WDC’s leader Andrew Mobbs said they were committed to going the “extra mile” to help Racing Club reach its goals for growth and development.
The proposals for the club form part of the wider master plan being developed for St Mary’s Lands which will be presented to the council’s executive on Wednesday.