Ironsides News

NEW ASTROTURF AT IRONSIDES SOON

Update on the Artificial Grass Pitch Project from the BISC Management Committee - for BIRFC Ltd AGM

This project to construct a 40x60m AGP has been approved by all constituent sections and has commenced on site with the removal of the conifer hedge by the car park. The project includes formalising the lease between the freeholder (LMPFE), BI Property Limited and BI Sports Operations Ltd (ops arm of BISC), and sorting out a lot of other formal paperwork.

As well as a rugby ready all weather pitch, the project will include two ‘estate compounds’ (between the AGP and the car park which will encompass all current storage needs for BISC and for the clubs containers etc. These will have a power supply. For increased security, the compounds will be connected to the clubhouse along the car park by a high fence with both pedestrian and vehicle gates. This security fence (with ball catch over) will eventually encompass the ground. There will be a metalled path from the club to the AGP. There will also be one or more new club signs on the Burntwood corners.

The Crown Estates, Fields in Trust and London Marathon are now all onside pending issue of final documents. When the final papers have been signed off we will engage contractors. Our wonderful pro-bono solicitors and numerous volunteers have been engaged in this for years, we are nearly there!

Hornsby House School currently use the ‘Burntwood Pitch’ during the week and play cricket in the summer, they also use the ball courts. Hornsby House Educational Trust (A charity) are providing significant assistance in funding the project and are taking a 35 year lease to use the BISG during term time week days. This is not exclusive but they have first call on ground facilities on an annual basis. HHS will pay a significant additional fee which will help us to cover BISC running costs.

The project will provide a much needed resilient surface for club training and will help with a number of ‘high wear’ problems we have, these cause very poor playing surfaces and high maintenance costs.

When the AGP is built both senior & youth rugby and football are keen users, we also have applications from new external clients which should provide a further key income for the club. Week day evenings are the premium use time and will attract premium income when not in club use. Sections will be expected to increase their contribution for NEW activities.

It is our assessment that both HHS and the Minis have very little impact on the Burntwood pitch due to the light weight of the players. The impact and damage caused by Senior Rugby has always been significant, but due to increase in numbers, the use has become unsustainable, this is particularly marked at the beginning of the season, when numbers are highest and dry weather (fragile pitch) is often followed by very wet weather creating a field of mud. In 2015 the turf repairs to this area cost £10,000 and the loss of HHS revenue amounted to around £20,000. In 2016 BISC have avoided a repeat of this problem which has caused significant financial issues for BISC.

All groups using BISC will be issued new Terms and Conditions of use for the House and Grounds to ensure we have consistent Agreements with all parties. These are in preparation and will become standard shortly.

We hope that this facility will be in use by September 2017.

Questions on the Battersea Ironsides Sports Club Facebook page or Ironsides Rugby FB Group or email DGH@

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