Kirkby Lonsdale rugby players clean up with Banks Renewables grant

August 25, 2016 | Armistead News

A community rugby club in South Lakeland village hall has washed away problems with its clubhouse draining system thanks to a new four-figure grant from a renewable energy firm.

The increasing numbers of players joining Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC in recent years, and the resulting higher demand on its facilities has put the drainage system at its 30 year-old clubhouse under increasing strain, to the point that water has been regularly overflowing into the car park.

Fundraising work has been ongoing at the club for some time to meet the substantial cost of making the necessary improvements – and now, a £3,000 grant from renewable energy firm Banks Renewables, via the community fund linked to its nearby Armistead wind farm, has enabled the committee to get the required upgrade carried out.

Originally founded in 1877, Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC currently runs three senior teams, and has had a number of players over the years who’ve gone on to win representative honours at county and junior international level.

The club’s junior section, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is especially strong, with teams running in every age group from under sevens to under 16s, and up to 300 junior players training at its Underley Park ground every Sunday morning.

The club holds various outside meetings and functions in the clubhouse to help raise the money required to meeting its running costs, and also makes its gym available for local people to use.

Dave Williams, treasurer at Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC, says: “The club is in great shape, but keeping up with the demands that our ever-increasing numbers of new recruits bring with them brings its own challenges, one of which is making sure our facilities remain up to standard.

“The need to improve the clubhouse drainage system has long been recognised, with the episodes of flooding in the car park making it only too clear that urgent action was needed, but the substantial cost of getting the work done was proving a real stumbling block.

“While we’d been working towards raising the money we needed for some time, the funding provided by Banks Renewables enabled us to get on with the job, and it will make a big difference to the quality of the facilities we can provide to players, supporters and other visitors for many years to come.”

The Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund will provide up to £307,500 of community funding from the revenue of the Armistead Wind Farm over its 25-year lifespan to help make a positive, long-term difference to local voluntary groups, environmental projects and community facilities in the area.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund is specifically designed to help local community organisations improve what they can offer to people in the area, and being able to support such a well-run and popular sports club is an ideal way of making this happen.”

Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ Armistead Wind Farm that are looking for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.

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