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Improving Your Rugby Union Facilities

Players squeeze into a dugout during a rugby tournament

Photo: RFU Archive

The RFU is committed to raising the standard of facilities at sustainable community rugby clubs around England, increasing the opportunities to access quality playing conditions for both new and existing players.

Managing the facilities at a community rugby club can be a minefield of legislation and guidelines, from planning permission for floodlights to fire safety compliance in club houses, or funding assistance for construction to developing a project management plan.

To help you make the most of your resources, the RFU has detailed information on all aspects of managing and improving your facilities. These range from design and construction guidance for clubhouses and changing rooms through to pitch maintenance and car parking.

Flood guidance

The RFU, working with Sport England, has produced a set of information sheets for clubs that have been affected by the recent adverse weather in England. This information is available to download below:

Sport England flood damage fund

Sport England have announced a £5 million flood relief fund to help restore pitches and repair sports facilities damaged by the recent floods and storms. Visit the Sport England website for further information on how to apply to the fund.

The £5 million of National Lottery funding will be made available to sports clubs, local authorities and other community organisations for emergency repairs to damaged facilities such as football, rugby and cricket pitches, water sports centres, pavilions, changing rooms and floodlights.

There are three options available to organisations:

  • Those needing funding to clean up and get up and running quickly can request up to £2,000 of emergency funding, which could be awarded within three weeks
  • Those with more extensive damage which will take longer to repair will be invited to apply to the fund when it opens on March 24, 2014 
  • Organisations that do not qualify for the flood relief fund will be given advice about other sources of funding that could help.

The fund will remain open until the autumn to ensure that those who are currently unable to assess the damage will not lose out.

Flooding incidents insurance claims guidance

Marsh have provided a general guidance as to what to expect if you need to make an insurance claim for flood damage, and the key actions you should take to protect your position. It also highlights some of the potential pitfalls and problems you might encounter, and how to handle them. Please download the Flooding Incidents Claim Guidance (PDF 2.1MB).

For further information and tactics to help you reduce the impact from flooding at your club, please also download the Marsh Insurance flood risk advice leaflet (PDF 992kB).

RFU Facility Strategy

The RFU first launched a National Facility Strategy in 2002. Since then the RFU has invested £27m in nearly 500 projects, attracting a further £85m from other investors, whilst the Rugby Football Foundation has invested £17m into over 1000 projects with a total project value of £60m.

Twickenham Head Groundsman Keith Kent inspects the turf at Trojans rugby club

Photo: RFU Archive

With England 2015 providing rugby union with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game the RFU has launched its new National Facility Strategy 2013-17 (PDF 1.2MB). It provides a framework for the RFU’s long-term commitment to establishing and managing a high quality and accessible facility network for rugby union in England that will help to strengthen member clubs and grow the game in communities around them.

This National Facilities Strategy clearly sets out the broad facility needs of the game and identifies investment priorities, giving a clear message to the game and its key partners.