For clarity on the current situation with facilities in the Ribble Valley and in particular the proposed new football pitches at Roefield and grass pitches at Highmoor, I have discussed with the Trustees of the Ribble Valley Community Sports Trust and they have asked me to update everyone.
In 2016 Clitheroe Wolves were approached by the Lancaster Foundation/Family after an appeal for help to improve football facilities in the RV. It was this very generous offer that led us down various different routes as to how this may be achieved. We were given the Green light by the RVBC to investigate the option of building an indoor arena and also match funding a new/improved outdoor 3G facility at Roefield which met with council support and backing. After further investigation into the FA Funding route and potential delays involved with funding this, coupled with the cost of an indoor arena, the project was going to be too expensive. We then re assessed the situation with the LF and approached the RVBC with the proposal of building 2 x 3G facilities at Roefield which mean the current failing/inadequate facility would be replaced. This was again backed by the RVBC, subject to planning permission.
Ribble Valley Community Sports Trust
In order to make this facility work and be open to all the community and sports clubs the Lancaster Foundation felt it would be better that it was run under a charity. In September 2018 the Ribble Valley Community Sports Trust was established with the Aims and Objectives to improve sporting facilities in the RV and any income generated from the new facility would be invested back into local sports clubs and grass pitch improvement. The RVCST also offered to help the RVBC in grass cutting and marking the pitches to help them save further costs. They are a separate body to Clitheroe Wolves and have a board of Trustees to act in the best interests of the Charity. Link attached.
Planning permission for the development of the site was granted in August 2018 which meant we could then further discuss the Terms of the Lease agreement. This is where negotiations have now stalled. Outline terms of the Lease were agreed in April by committee of the RVBC. Proposal via the link https://www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/6488/agenda_item_5_-_roefield_football_project
The RVCST then put together a business plan for the pitches and felt the terms of the lease put the viability of the project in doubt due to the RVBC wanting 10% of the available slots and the income from the slots plus the agreed rental figure. The RVCST went back to committee on September 4th, to request the 10% slots were left in but the income from the slots was taken by the RVCST. This was refused by the Council Committee. The rental figure was to remain the same. Proposal via the link https://www.ribblevalley.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/6715/agenda_item_8_-_roefield_football_project
It should read in both reports the RVCST and the LF, not Clitheroe Wolves. The development at Roefield has always been a Community Project.
Currently both the RVCST and the RVBC are exploring other avenues to make the project work. Until a compromise or other venue is found then the project is on hold. The LF are still 100% behind supporting the RVCST to enhance local sports facilities.
As there has been a few concerned messages from parents about the Highmoor situation given the Planning application, I want to clarify that also. Wolves have been in discussions with the Trustees for the Grammar School foundation for a number of months and we are very close to signing a long term lease on the Playing Fields. This will mean we can develop the car park, for which we already have planning permission and also renovate the Pavilion. Hopefully this lease will be finalised in the not too distant future. This is a venture we have wanted for many years and is a huge positive for Wolves future.