Scottish Rugby launch Club Sustainability Fund
Scottish Rugby Union President, Ian Rankin, today confirmed that Scottish Rugby will roll out a new£1.6 million facilities fund over the next four years.The Club Sustainability Fund, which will be the biggest support of its kind from Scottish Rugby to its member clubs, will have three strands - FastTrack, Revenue and Capital - and will see£400,000 made available each year to ambitious rugby clubs across the country.Rankin said: "We want to reward clubs who are working hard to establish a clear vision to grow the game in their community and local area.I'm delighted to announce that this is the biggest facilities fund we, as a governing body, have made available to our member clubs."The three funding strands will accommodate projects of all sizes.FastTrack, which replaces Scottish Rugby's small facilities fund, allows clubs to apply for 50% of maintenance and improvement projects up to£2,000. Applications for 2014 are being accepted up until Friday 28 November.The Revenue strand aims to help clubs increase their revenue, membership and relationships with the local community and businesses.Clubs with a successful track record developing rugby in their area can apply for projects up to£10,000 before Friday 12 December.Finally, the Capital strand aims to help clubs increase the quantity and quality of rugby participation in their area, by releasing money for large facility projects, such as pitches, floodlights, training and changing areas.In partnership with sportscotland, clubs will be able to apply for a Sport Facilities Fund as well, on just one application form.Clubs can apply for up to£50,000 and if they can commit to at least 20% of the project costs and 10% of in-kind support, for instance using local tradesmen or club members willing to offer their skills.Applications for this final strand are being taken until Friday 12 December. Clubs must discuss their plans with their regional Club Services Managers before applying.Scottish Rugby's Head of Club Services, Nick Rennie, said: "This is a significant investment, which will help clubs to improve their facilities and attract new members."I'm delighted that we can work in partnership with sportscotland to offer a robust application for funding that could help clubs realise their ambitions.This fund is for clubs who are working hard to develop rugby in their local communities and who want to create a sustainable future for the sport."Today's launch took place at Linlithgow Rugby Club who have recently completed a major facilities project, with support from CashBack for Communties that includes an indoor training facility and fitness suite. The new first-class building at Mains Park showcases how ambitious clubs should be when applying to the Club Sustainability Fund.Linlithgow Vice-President, Ken Richardson, said: "This has been a long journey and not one we have taken lightly, as it has required a huge amount of work. It has been all about ensuring sustainability for rugby in our community.Before we opened the new building we were hammering one pitch and, through the winter, we were losing a lot of young players, who just drifted away. So we made the decision to offer our facilities to local people and businesses and to make the club more attractive to our strong and growing youth section."Ultimately, we want to improve quality across the board, not just in terms of facilities, by using the new building to ensure we raise our skill level in every team."Visit www.scottishrugby.org/clubs-schools/schemes-funding-support/club-fund for more information and to download the relevant application forms.