KENILWORTH RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Kenilworth Rugby Club’s plans for a new ground at the heart of its community have been given the go-ahead in a decision which heralds a new chapter in its history.
The approval from Warwick District Council’s Planning Committee means the club will leave its current Glasshouse Lane home of 74 years in time for the start of the 2022-23 season.
The Club's new ground, on land to the east of Warwick Road south of Kenilworth Cricket Club, will feature four full size grass pitches and two junior grass pitches, a 3G pitch, physiotherapy suite, gym, bars, cafes and function rooms.
Peter Blakeman, Club Chairman, said: “This decision is a very welcome next step in our journey to delivering a facility that will safeguard the future of our club and the community we are proud to be part of, for many years to come.”
One of the players certain to benefit from the new set-up will be Jack Bowden, who plays for the Club's Under-10s team. The nine-year-old son of former first team player Ian Bowden said: “I’ve been playing since I was 5. It was wonderful when I started because I always wanted to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and play for the Club. My Day played for the Second Team, the Firsts and Pirates, but that was a hundred years ago!”
The move, which will help Kenilworth attract the best rugby talent in the region, will also be good news for the wider community.
Director of Rugby, Jai Purewal said: “The new ground will rival any in the Midlands and will help to make us a really attractive proposition for any player looking to be the best they can be. It will let us provide the best possible facilities and support services to our players.
“It will also build on our ambition to be an integral part of the community we serve by opening up the game and the Club’s facilities to a wider audience.”
Kerry Kirwan, Chairman of the Club’s Mini and Junior set-up which has more than 350 youngsters in its ranks, added: ”Those players are the future of the Club so it’s wonderful to think they will have access to some of the best facilities in the region to continue their rugby journey.”
A large team of volunteers and members have played a major part in helping the Club reach the planning milestone, and Peter said: “Without them and the support of the District Council’s Officers and Councillors, this moment would not have been possible.”