Changing times at rugby club

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WHITBY RUFC is set to celebrate its 60th birthday in September and the club hopes to use the anniversary to showcase their ambitions by unveiling a new £195,000 changing room block.

The club, which last season gained promotion to Durham and Northumberland League 2, has recently signed a 999-year lease on the White Leys playing fields and rugby ground, and intend to heavily invest in the services they offer to the local community.

Whitby RUFC house secretary Tony Charlton said: “For the first time in the club’s history we are now very much masters of our own destiny and on this occasion it paved the way for us to make a successful application for grant assistance from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the council to develop the changing room facilities.

“The previous lease we had for Whitby Leys meant it was difficult to attract investment and develop the facilities and ultimately I think the club would have gone out of existence had it not been for the openness of Scarborough Borough Council (SBC).

“The improvements at White Leys show the confidence the RFU and SBC have in this project and also the ongoing contribution we make to the community and to sport in Whitby.”

The new facilities will incorporate six new multi-sport changing rooms, with en-suite showering and toilet provision, and two changing rooms for officials.

They are being financed by an £85,000 funding grant from SBC, a £65,000 capital investment programme grant from the Rugby Football Union, and £45,000 from club funds.

SBC’s head of finance and asset management, Nick Edwards, said: “We are excited by the desire, commitment and ambition shown by Whitby RUFC.

“We are happy to have been able to help and wish the club well for the future.”

Tickets for Whitby RUFC’s 60th anniversary celebrations are now on sale from the club for £37.50.

Eddie Astin, Whitby RUFC’s marketing secretary, said: “This should be a wonderful occasion for everyone associated with the club.

“It’s a remarkable milestone and I’m delighted it coincides with the refurbishment of the changing facilities.”

A full programme of rugby and evening entertainment will take place at Whitby Spa for the Official Dinner and Dance, to be announced shortly.