SWINDON Supermarine has revealed ambitious plans to improve its facilities, which will be a massive boost for amateur sport in the town.The proposals are the culmination of 11 years’ work by a team of volunteers who have turned the club into a multi-sports ground, providing a home for dozens of adult and youth teams.
The 34-acre venue in South Marston is owned by its members and run on a not-for-profit basis to provide grass-roots participation.
The plans include a 3G dome to provide cover for all-weather training on pitches, additional floodlights and a pitch-side cover and 50 seats for a dual-purpose rugby-football pitch.There will also be an extension to the changing rooms and a conversion of the tennis courts to allow sessions to take place rain or shine.
Amateur sports clubs, aspiring pros and schools would all stand to benefit from the improvements.The sports and social club is awaiting clarification on council planning fees, which it has been told could hit £10,000.
Club chairman Martin Bryan said: “We are at the stage where the hard work and sacrifice over the past 11 years has paid off – we are close to paying off all our debts and we are looking to the next phase. All we need is a bit of assistance from the council, because if we get the plans through, the FA, RFU and Sports England will finance the work. The new facilities will be of enormous benefit to people in the town, especially young people. We are in this for the good of the community and the good of sport and many of our members have ploughed thousands of pounds of their own money into the club.”
Company secretary Dave Webb said: “We have worked hard to turn things round, from having no money in the beginning to being within touching distance of making the place pay for itself. While the club is run by volunteers, they formed a limited company for legal reasons after taking advice from the main sports bodies, and believe this may be why the planning fees charges have been levied.
Justin Tomlinson, the MP for North Swindon, who has a meeting with the rugby club on January 27 to discuss the plans, said: “The Supermarine site is a sporting jewel in the crown for our town and I am extremely supportive.”