Chorley’s premier rugby league club is one step closer to making its new clubhouse dream a reality.
Chorley Panthers have been given the green light to start on its clubhouse ambitions after Chorley Council’s planning officers approved the plans.
It means that the Panthers are set to flatten the current clubhouse at their grounds off Chisnall Lane, Coppull, as part of a wider masterplan to improve the facilities of the club in line with its future ambitions.
And part of the plans including opening up the clubhouse to the wider community for “an array of other activities”.
Chairman Alan Bowers said: “The existing clubhouse having long past it’s useful life, currently serves to host post match activities, this new clubhouse will increase our options and engagement with the wider community.
“We hope to offer this out to other bodies such as toddler groups, health screening, family celebrations, continuation of our Friday retirement club and first aid training plus an array of other activities.”
A new clubhouse is the latest in more than seven years of on and off-field development, including new drainage, relaying of pitches, flood lights and spectator barriers around the pitch.
The clubhouse will see its four-room changing block into a “purpose-built” eight-room block with a physiotherapy room, plant room and a gymnasium.
A fund-raising pot of £80,000 combined with a £100,000 grant from Sport England’s Community Asset Fund will assist with the project.
Further funding of around £100,000 will be required to make the project a reality, Alan added.
He explained: “It’s been a massive journey and I honestly thought with our own funds and the Sport England monies that we could deliver the project.
“However indicative costings have put the development costs at nearer £280,000.
“Disappointingly we don’t qualify for VAT relief so a large slug of this cost won’t materialise in the mainframe of the building.
“When we received the indicative costs I honestly believed the redevelopment was unachievable however we have a lifeline as we pursue the second grant application.
“We’ve a bit more work to do but hopefully we will be successful which will allow us to deliver the new clubhouse in this our 30th anniversary year.
“We are ever more reliant on our fantastic benefactors and sponsors to make sure the clubhouse enjoys all the bells and whistles befitting of the efforts of our members making this a place we can truly call home.
“Any local or national businesses looking to assist with delivery and be part of this thriving club would be very welcome and would love to hear from you.”