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Property lawyers advise club on deal to bring “world-class” facilities to Cheltenham RFC

Commercial property experts from Willans have advised Cheltenham Rugby Club which is the latest club that will benefit from a new, RFU-funded artificial grass pitch.

Construction work began today for the new pitch which is scheduled to open this summer.

The all-weather, floodlit surface will enable additional training sessions and more flexibility in playing times for the club. It will also be available to local clubs who will have the chance to benefit from year-round rugby as a direct result of the facility. As a result, the artificial grass pitch (AGP) is expected to increase rugby participation across clubs and community groups in the region, further growing the sport.

“We are absolutely delighted that works are finally starting. The club obtained planning permission for an artificial pitch in May 2010, it has been a hard slog to get to this stage. Everyone associated with the club are really excited to be hosting a World Rugby compliant pitch. This facility will be a massive boost to rugby development in the Cheltenham and surrounding areas”, Stephen Ratcliffe, Chairman, Cheltenham Rugby Club.

Solicitors in our commercial property team negotiated the documents on behalf of Cheltenham Rugby Club leading to the construction of the new pitch. Commenting on our involvement, partner of the firm and rugby fan Paul Gordon (pictured) said:

“The new pitch is the first of its kind in North Gloucestershire and it was a pleasure for Willans to be involved in the legal work facilitating its opening, which will doubtless encourage more groups and clubs to participate in the sport. As a Gloucestershire firm (with many rugby fans among our staff) we are particularly pleased to be involved in the introduction of world-class sporting facilities to this part of the county”.

The pitch is part of the RFU’s Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy of delivering more than £50m investment over four years, via the development of 100 AGPs across England.

Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director, commented:

“We hope the local community will embrace the new AGP and take advantage of the additional opportunities it provides people to play year-round rugby. Since launching our first sites in January we have seen local clubs, schools and teams from across the local areas all embracing the opportunity to play on the world-class facilities without weather, darkness or lack of pitch access limiting their ability to enjoy this great game”.

Litigation partner Paul Gordon is pictured with commercial property solicitor Emma Thompson together with Stephen Ratcliffe (Chairman Cheltenham Rugby Club), Alex Chalk (MP Cheltenham), David Townsend (President Cheltenham Rugby Club) and Adrian Siddorn (Chairman Gloucestershire RFU).

Photo provided courtesy of Morgan Harlow.