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Council backs gym club's bid to build a new home

RUGBY Gymnastics Club's bid to build a new centre of excellence has been boosted by a further £130,000 from Rugby Borough Council.

The gym club's plans to build a state-of-the-art facility for the borough's gymnastic talent have been in the pipeline for nearly a decade.

The £2.3 million project secured a £500,000 grant from Sport England's Improvement Fund in 2015 and was awarded £176,000 by the borough council last year.

Planning permission for the facility to be built on council-owned land in Kilsby Lane was granted four years ago, but despite a club fund-raising drive and the proceeds from the sale of the club's current site in Lower Hillmorton Road, the project still requires funding.

The council gave the green light for a further £130,000 contribution towards the club's plans at a recent meeting - taking the council's total support for the project to £306,000, all from section 106 contributions.

Section 106 agreements form part of planning permission and allow the council to secure financial contributions from developers or landowners towards infrastructure and facilities.

The need for a new gymnastics facility was identified in the council's Built Facilities Strategy, published in 2015, and both section 106 contributions have come from money allocated for indoor sports provision.

Cllr Howard Roberts, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for leisure and wellbeing, said: "Rugby Gymnastics Club has long outgrown its current home, former Victorian factory buildings in very poor condition and no longer fit for purpose.

"With more than 1,000 members and a waiting list of children eager to join, the club has worked incredibly hard to turn the dream of building a centre of excellence in Rugby into a reality, creating a facility which can fulfil the ambitions of both the club's coaches and gymnasts.

"Section 106 contributions allow the council to provide facilities our communities need and we're delighted to be in a position to provide more support for the club's plans."

Rugby Gymnastics Club has started work on phase one of the project to build the centre of excellence and has an ongoing online appeal to raise funds to develop phase two - creating a viewing area, cafe and 'breakout' space.

Residents can support the appeal at

Gill McKee, the Rugby Gymnastic Club's development director, said the club planned to move into its new home early next year.

"This long-awaited project will be a fantastic opportunity for the whole community, our current members and our selective competitive squads," Gill added.

"This new facility will help us reduce our long waiting lists and create a variety of opportunities for young people in all aspects of gymnastics and fitness.

"We can also finally become a venue to host school, regional and national competitions."

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