Grassroots rugby clubs in Wales will be able to bid for infrastructure funding as part of the Welsh Rugby Union’s (WRU) £1m (US$1.3m, €1.2m) facility improvement scheme.
The governing body has earmarked two one-off pots of £400,000 (US$528,574, €479,351) each to be made available to community clubs across the nation.
The first fund will be set aside for improvements to off-field infrastructure such as club houses “in order to improve their community and family involvement and spectator experience”, while the second amount of money will be spent on playing and training facilities.
Funding has been made available to help grassroots clubs achieve new ‘Standards’ awarded to recognise their level or club structure and development, culture and policies, rugby participation and on- and off-field facilities.
In addition, the WRU has ring-fenced £200,000 (US$264,287, €239,675) which semi-professional Welsh Premiership clubs will be able to bid for to improve their on- and off-field infrastructure.
The £1m pledged adds to a total of £2.5m (US$3.3m, €3m) invested in facilities by the WRU over the last four years.
Martyn Phillips, WRU chief executive, said the body had “worked hard” to make the funding available in “what is always a difficult financial climate in a Rugby World Cup season”.
“Good quality facilities to allow clubs to prosper within their communities are key to this strategy and we are delighted that our financial performance this year has enabled us to invest more than ever in this area, especially, for the first time, in facilities grant funding for the semi-professional level of the game which is key to the WRU performance pathway,” added WRU chair Gareth Davis.
First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, 21 July 2016, written by Matthew Campelli