Exmouth Rugby Football Club are excited about our future at the heart of Exmouth town, further developing a community centred facility that is used by a wide range of groups whilst still being a rugby club. Heading towards 150 YEARS of Exmouth Rugby Club in 2023, the club secured a long term 99 year lease recently. This has enabled a wider plan to grow.
The club is thriving, currently close to 400 children, girls and boys train and play rugby throughout the week and weekend, across 16 teams. Not to mention 3 senior teams and occasional sides too. With all our family, friends, supporters, visitors, guests, players & coaches it is a bit of a tight squeeze. The current small clubhouse also acts as a hub for everything from dementia sessions, prayer group, seated yoga, disabled & charity organisations, schooling, meetings, parties, weddings and wakes. It is planned that interaction with community and business groups will increase.
As a community sports and recreation club, primarily run by volunteers, The Cockles have an ambitious draft feasibility plan and are keen to move forward to reach planning stage.
We have taken our time to outline our plan with our landlord East Devon District Council, local Exmouth town councillors and RFU who have all been largely supportive. Our Cockles club members have been introduced to the feasibility plan and have given some super feedback, backing and offers of help. We have held outline consultation before we initiate planning stages. We have to ensure everything is right to progress.’
The phased scheme will include upkeep of current clubhouse facility that can continue in its use, this structure has been broadly the same since 1964 when the club moved to the centre of town from the Cranford Club. There were negotiations to relocate in 2006, when supermarkets were seeking town centre locations. This was curtailed a few years later when any chance of a move was rejected. Exmouth Rugby Club remained in its home. The current clubhouse is undergoing a facelift to keep it operational. The old stand will be removed with its space redeveloped.
Initial ideas include the creation of a destination facility to benefit Exmouth town, within the community for the next 100 years. This includes the improvement of 2 full size playing pitches, additional smaller grass areas for sport and new purpose built clubhouse with dedicated events suite. Then a separate unit with multiple changing rooms with integrated shower facilities, medical & rehabilitation rooms with gymnasium. Both buildings with some employment and commercial opportunities. The changing block can proceed as a separate build to main club house, utilising the current structure built in 1996.
The larger project is to provide a state-of-the-art facility to further host a growing rugby club with a wide range of community groups, schools, colleges with other clubs, organisations and local businesses. This will have the commercial capacity to run events with up to 120 guests seated, completely independent to any rugby or sporting activity. Events can take place on the outside areas during off season. Overall, this will be a hub with event space for social gathering & bringing the local community together in the town centre. An environmentally friendly building with sympathetic landscaping in keeping with its environment.
It's great news to kick start 150 YEARS of Exmouth Rugby. Watch out for messages to members and our social media channels for more details of celebration plans throughout the year.
If you can help with this project or wish to find our more information, please email;
Ian Harris on Chairman@exmouthrugby.co.uk
Updated November 2022