Community Links Award 2009/10
Winner: Cheltenham RFC
When Cheltenham RFC bought the freehold of 19-acre Newlands Park two years ago, it acquired a rundown facility with one local football team and one rugby club, Smiths RFC. The sustainable business model required them to be totally inclusive for local sports teams and voluntary/community groups and this is exactly how they have progressed. They recruited local football teams, skittle teams and successfully marketed the venue as a 'Resource' Centre, with modest hire charges, for use by the local community. The amenity is a meeting place for 16 other sports groups from Smiths Angling Club to Cheltenham Swimming Club as well as for a local Children's Dance Group and Martial Arts Club. They have ten Third Sector, local Community groups, using the venue regularly from the Rotary Club to an Amateur Theatre Group.