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Club Houses and Changing Rooms

The clubhouse at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Football Club

Photo: RFU Archive

The club house can be the hub of activity at a rugby club, who said a successful club is all about the team winning on the pitch? The friendly environment in a well-stocked bar, and hospitable – in the home dressing room at least – changing areas can make a real difference.

To help clubs make legally sound and effective decisions, the RFU has a number of guidance notes and advice documents issues surrounding facilities design, compliance and construction.

In conjunction with the Rugby Football Foundation, The RFU has produced a Changing Rooms and Club Houses Guidance Document (PDF 595kB) providing a checklist of standards and minimum criteria, advice on project steering groups, appointing consultants, and applications for funding.

Planning permission is something that new developments must bear in mind, especially if you are considering rugby club is changing the use of some of your buildings.  The RFU's Planning Permission Guidance Document (PDF 94kB) provides some useful information.

A newly built clubhouse at a community rugby club

Photo: RFU Archive

Also important is ensuring any new builds or refurbishments are compliant with Disability Discrimination Act legislation, so the RFU has produced an Accessible Facilities and Compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act Guidance Document (PDF 252kB), containing advice which is specific to rugby clubs. This is further supported by Sport England’s Access for Disabled People Design Guide (PDF 2.4MB).

For general reference, Sport England has produced a client guide on Better Places for Sport (PDF 520kB), aimed at helping achieve high design quality in sports facility renovations.

Sport England is also a useful advisory body on wider facility issues, with guidance available to sports clubs on Car Park and Landscape Design (PDF 700kB), Environmental Sustainability (PDF 2.4 MB), and Fitness and Exercise Spaces (PDF 1 MB).

Fire Safety

Since 2006, new fire safety regulations have come into force affecting all non-domestic premises in England and Wales, hence affecting rugby clubs.

The government provides various simple guidance documents and checklists to ensure buildings comply with these rgulations, including a Fire Assessment Briefing Paper (PDF 72kB), a Five Step Risk Assessment (PDF 43kB) and a Short Guide to Making Your Premises Safe (PDF 338kB).


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