Rugby clubs across Scotland are set to benefit from the third round of Scottish Rugby’s Club Sustainability Fund after a sum of £1.6million was set aside by Scottish Rugby for investment in the domestic game across a four-year period.
Funding from Scottish Rugby and BT worth over £217,000 will be shared across six clubs following first and second round investments, bringing the total project costs to over £12million across 97 clubs.
The fund enables clubs to improve the infrastructure of the domestic game and the one-stop application process allows clubs to apply for the Club Sustainability Fund and the sportscotland National Lottery fund in the same process.
This year, the successful clubs will receive investment towards a total of over £1.5million project costs as a result of the fund, which was created through BT’s sponsorship investment in Scottish Rugby.
Rob Flockhart, President of Scottish Rugby, said: “The Club Sustainability Fund supports clubs and their project ideas as they strive to improve their infrastructures. Together with the BT sponsorship investment, we are helping to improve club facilities for current and future generations.
We hope such investments will have a positive impact on player participation, retention and development, while also encouraging more vibrant rugby communities to come to the fore.”
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “We’re really pleased to see the impact the Club Sustainability Fund has had at a grassroots level since its launch.
We know what a difference these grants make to local clubs, their members, players and the communities around them. It’s a privilege to be involved in supporting club rugby in Scotland in such a tangible way.”
Mark Cowan, Head of Facilities, sportscotland said: “Last weekend, Scotland’s national women’s rugby team recorded an historic win against Wales, while the men’s team have risen to their highest ever position of fifth in the World Rugby Rankings. Celebrating those achievements provides a fantastic opportunity to recognise the importance of a strong club structure to support the continued development of the game at every level.
At sportscotland, we are working with our partners to build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland and this investment in rugby is a key part of the plan. By improving the infrastructure of rugby right across the country, we can provide more and better opportunities in local communities and potentially discover the next generation of Scotland players.”
Third round recipients – see table below for full award list – include Alloa Rugby Club who have thrived in an area not typically associated with rugby.
The club continues to engage with local communities and schools through the hard work of volunteers and development officers, offering rugby as an outlet for those living in a deprived area of the country.
Alloa’s 1st XV have performed to a high standard this season and are currently sitting fourth in BT Caledonia League Division 1, while the club boasts several Scotland internationalists who have come through their ranks.
Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby’s Grant Gilchrist, brothers Kevin and Glenn Bryce (Scotland and Scotland 7s respectively), Sean Kennedy (Scotland 7s) and Lyndsay O’Donnell (Scotland Women) have all developed their rugby at Alloa.
Alloa’s existing clubhouse and changing rooms are now set to benefit from a £50,000 injection to accommodate the growing number of teams at the club and the development of a Ladies’ section.
Elsewhere, Jed-Forest have also secured £50,000 for a clubhouse development which will see the Borders club modernise their changing rooms, toilets, gym and entrance to meet the demands of thriving rugby sections.
Irvine are set to receive £50,000 to develop new changing rooms as their youth sections continues to grow.
Livingston will benefit from £33, 370 to upgrade showers to support growth in women’s and girls’ rugby, while Whitecraigs will receive £24,125 for the installation of floodlights and an improved drainage system.
GHA have been awarded £10,000 for a Business Development Manager post to increase revenue at the club and help fund major facility plans.
Clubs who were not successful in the third round of funding will continue to receive support from Scottish Rugby in order to develop their projects to investment level.
Club Sustainability Fund – Capital & Revenue strand – third round applications
Scottish Rugby Award
Clubhouse, changing room & gym development
Business Development post
Changing room development
Clubhouse, changing room & gym development
Upgrade of showers
Installation of floodlights and improved drainage