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Ledbury keep dry with flood relief scheme

27 November 2013

  • Rugby Football Foundation part-funds development
  • Herefordshire club aims to beat damaging floods
Ledbury RFC

Photo: RFU Archive

Herefordshire club Ledbury hope that their new £105,000 flood relief scheme will help keep the clubhouse at their Ross Road ground safe from rising river levels.

Ledbury have twice suffered serious flood damage from the nearby River Leadon – in 1998 and again in 2007. The 2007 floods cost around £180,000 in damage and lost business and led to Ledbury suffering a 30 per cent drop in community usage of their facilities and posting losses for two years.

Now Ledbury have built a brick bund around their buildings, installed a self-raising barrier system, waterproofed the brickwork of the clubhouse and installed non-return valves in their drains to ensure that flood water does not find its way into the buildings through toilets and sinks.

The scheme has been part funded by a £10,000 grant from the Rugby Football Foundation charitable trust, £38,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund and £60,000 which Ledbury raised themselves through a number of initiatives including summer balls and donations and loans from members.

“We have suffered from two severe floods in 15 years, which put the clubhouse out of action for a significant period of time and which meant that we lost a lot of business,” said Ledbury spokesman Dick Mason.

“We realised that it would be difficult to protect our pitches but we could protect our buildings against rising floodwater.

“It might sound like a lot of money for something that doesn’t happen very often but, when it does flood, it causes us a lot of inconvenience and costs us a lot of money.”

Ledbury’s flood relief scheme has been installed by UK Flood Barriers of Droitwich and is being monitored by the RFU to assess whether similar schemes might benefit other flood-prone rugby clubs.

“The scheme at Ledbury was specific to that site. We will be monitoring the effectiveness of the works but each solution is very localised,” said Ross Baxter, the RFU Facilities Investment Manager.

“Other clubs are able to apply to the funds that Ledbury have secured, which the local Area Facilities Manager can support them with alongside the Constituent Body Facility Coordinator.”

The Rugby Football Foundation is a registered charity established by the Rugby Football Union to promote and develop community amateur rugby in England.

Further details about Ledbury’s flood relief scheme can be obtained from Dick Mason on 01531 890420 or UK Flood Barriers on 01905 773282.