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RFU Chooses Barclays Bank to Finance South Stand and Game Investment

05 December 2005

5th December 2005
The Rugby Football Union has announced today that it has reached an agreement with Barclays Professional Sports Team to provide a �20m funding facility for the �100m South Stand Development project at Twickenham Stadium and a �50m loan facility for a capital fund for structural development in the game to meet its strategic objectives.

The South Stand Development currently under construction at Twickenham Stadium will cost a total of around �100m. It comprises a 156 bed Marriott Hotel, a 40,000 sq ft Virgin Active fitness & leisure club, extensive Conference & Banqueting facilities, a destination Rugby Store and a performing arts theatre for the local community. The RFU will fund approximately �80m through its own resources and the balance will be provided by the Barclays loan.

The �50m loan facility will be used as a development fund for the professional and amateur games. The RFU's proposals to provide funds for stadium development for the Guinness Premiership clubs is an example of a project that could be funded.

As part of its commitment to make available financial support for all levels of the game in England, the RFU plans to continue to increase its investment in the Community game and its 1,700 member clubs, which stood at a total of �19.0m in the last financial year an increase of �3.6m on the previous year.

RFU Finance Director Nick Eastwood said today "The deal we have reached with Barclays Professional Sports Team provides a good financial package for the RFU. The Barclays facility will be an important element of the financing of the re-development of the South Stand at Twickenham Stadium and we expect to be in a position to open the seating for public use in November 2006.

RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron OBE said "The Barclays facility will enable us to increase our level of investment to improve facilities in the game generally. It also puts us in a position to implement the proposals we have made to Premier Rugby regarding structural capital investment in the development of the Guiness Premiership should agreement be reached with Premier Rugby".

Chris Lee, Director and Head of Barclays Professional Sports Business team said "We are delighted to be providing the finance for the exciting re-development at Twickenham. Moreover our provision of these lending facilities demonstrates Barclays' commitment to work with the RFU to further develop the game of rugby within England."