Harborough sports clubs given huge land boost

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Two sports clubs from Market Harborough have been given a land boost by Harborough District Council.

The council has granted Market Harborough Rugby Club and Harborough Town Football Club a 50 year lease on extra land behind Harborough Leisure Centre in Northampton Road.

The council said the decision would maximise the use of the assets for recreational purposes and help the sports clubs accommodate increased demand and potentially improve facilities.

The council’s Executive agreed the new lease at its meeting last week.

This will allow the rugby club to take on two additional full sized pitches to cope with current demand.

The football club will also be able to take on the main football pitch and surrounding land to assist in its ambitions to create a 3G (synthetic) pitch on the site.

It has already secured Section 106 (housing developer contribution) funding towards the project.

The sports clubs have welcomed the decision and said they will continue to accommodate other sports and recreational activities on the site, as well as enhance what is already offered.

Laurence Jones, chairman of Harborough Town Community Trust, said: “This is a massive boost for the football club that will secure the long term sustainability of the club.

“It will be of huge assistance in seeking funding and further investment to develop a community football facility, which will be accessible to the local community.”

Cllr Michael Rickman, the council’s portfolio holder for well-being and localities, said: “This decision will open up opportunities for these clubs to develop and grow and secure funding to do so.

“As well as helping people stay active these clubs are potentially developing the sporting stars of the future. We are delighted we can assist.”

Cllr Phil King, deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance and assets, said: “Our aim is to maximise the use of this council-owned land for recreation purposes.”

The council has launched a survey on the future of leisure provision in the district which can be completed at www.
harborough.gov.uk/active