New Brighton rugby rooms to undergo much-needed revamp

REVAMP: The New Brighton Rugby Football Club still needs another $150,000 to allow the upgrades of the club to get underway.

The Plan to turn Rawhiti Domain into a sports hub has taken another step forward as progress is made on funding to upgrade the New Brighton Rugby Football Club.

The Rata Foundation has granted $200,000 towards the reconfiguration of the rugby clubrooms, originally built in 1951.

The project coincides

with the Eastern Community Sports and Recreation’s 10-year plan to open an all-weather $2.2 million sports facility at the domain.

The trust was established in 2008 to bring New Brighton sports clubs together and is driving the upgrade of the rugby clubrooms.

But Eastern Community Sports and Recreation Inc board member Wayne Turner said the grant is subject to securing the rest of the funding to allow the work to go ahead.

The upgrade of the clubrooms will cost $350,000 – leaving the club with an additional $150,000 to find.

Mr Turner said it is currently seeking funding from other trusts, and it is hopeful it will have it secured by the end of February.

It is also in discussion with the city council over the building consent process.

But Mr Turner said he was uncertain how long that process would take.

The upgrade will include replacing the roof, relocating

the kitchen upstairs, refitting

the downstairs lounge, and

adding two new changing rooms.

The club will also be rebranded to Eastern Community Sports and Recreation.

In August, a city council hearings panel decided to lease 3881 sq m of land of the domain to allow the trust to upgrade four tennis courts, and build a canopy with lighting over three of the courts.

Trust chairman Peter Burley said it able is to move forward with the plans after securing funding from the Lottery Grants Board, Rata Foundation and

the New Zealand Community Trust.

“That gives us enough to start the project and fully purchase the canopy and start finalising the geotech and other components,” he said.

The canopy is set to cost $1.2 million and the trust currently has $1.05 million.

The trust is currently working through the building consent process with the city council and on the geotechnical engineering for the project.

Mr Burley said while it was hard to say when the city council would sign off on the building consent process, he does not see why the project couldn’t be finished by the middle of the year.

He said the trust has a small shortfall and will be exploring options to raise the funding.

The trust will consider applying for city council funds.

“Hopefully it heralds a big future for community groups to be more involved in the delivery of sports and recreation,” he said.