£400k revamp of Market Rasen and Louth Rugby Club is shelved
Major plans to revitalise West Lindsey's most successful rugby club have been shelved.
Much of Market Rasen and Louth Rugby Club's £400,000 redevelopment scheme has been delayed due to the "tough economic climate".
The decision was made at the Willingham Road outfit's latest committee meeting. But president Chris Miller has promised the plans are still very much on the agenda.
The building of a new £350,000 clubhouse has been put back because the club is concerned about the size of the loan it would need to take out.
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The state-of-the-art facility will eventually boast new changing rooms, a referee's room, disabled access, physio room, kitchen and bar.
Work will continue on new floodlights at Willingham Road ground and the club is still in talks about buying a nearby cricket pitch in a bid to expand.
Mr Miller said: "These are tough times and, more than anything, we want to make sure the club is on a sound financial footing.
"The amount we would have had to borrow was too much at this stage. But we are by no means abandoning the project because we are keen to make it happen.
"We are the second most successful club in all of Lincolnshire, only behind Scunthorpe, and we want the facilities to reflect that.
"No work has been done on our current clubhouse for 30 years and it looks really run-down.
"We just need to keep soldiering on with trying to find as much funding as possible.
"The decision was a regrettable one at our last committee meeting but the last thing we want to do is ruin the club financially. That would ruin the great work the players have done on the field in recent years in getting the club as high as it is."
The former Market Rasen player added: "It is not dead and buried by any stretch of the imagination. There are too many people that want this to happen."
The club has almost 400 members – some of whom live in Gainsborough and Lincoln.
The 1st XV ply their trade in Midlands One East division.
West Lindsey District Council, which has already approved the planning application, says it continues to support the redevelopment.
If you would like to help Market Rasen and Louth Rugby Club with raising money for the new clubhouse, contact Mr Miller on 07919 320573.