Latest on Buxton Rugby Club as lease deal is agreed

Buxton Rugby Club’s management committee say they have secured a lease agreement for the Sunnyfields facility with any money generated being reinvested back into the club.

By Louise Cooper
Friday, 23rd April 2021, 2:02 pm

In a statement on Facebook, they added that the club would also be changing its status to Buxton RUFC Ltd and will be managed by five directors or guarantors.

The announcement comes days after an online petition called Stop the Sale of Buxton Rugby Club’s Ground at Sunnyfields was set up.

Last week the Advertiser reported how two extraordinary general meetings, organised by separate groups, were being held to discuss the club’s future. A legal dispute is also ongoing.

Buxton Rugby Club's Sunnyfields ground

The statement issued on Monday says: “We are confident that we have now secured in principle, a lease agreement (rented from BRUFC) for our Sunnyfields facility, with some really exciting improvements for the future.

"We have operated in this way previously twice but without the new investment profile as planned.”

It added that Buxton RUFC owns the property, ground and assets and the grounds must always be used for sport and says that Buxton RUFC Ltd will continue to have members who have the right to vote.

Buxton RUFC Management Committee released and statement and image on Monday detailing their plans for Buxton Rugby Club

"Any income generated from the lease (rent) will be solely used for the futherance of rugby in Buxton, reinvested back into the club to grow junior sections, along with any building maintenance related to the proposed lease agreements, under a landlord’s obligations.”

The statement concludes with “rugby will continue to be at the centre of activities at Sunnyfields as it is now.”

In a statement to the Advertiser, Buxton RUFC management committee said: “The club minutes record that BRUFC Committees have been discussing ground sale, sale and lease back or pure lease options for over 20 years, it’s nothing new and they are born out of a legacy of sustainability issues, mainly financial. More recently so as to ensure the facility survived the pandemic effects.”

A poster advertising the first of the meetings, which took place on Thursday night, says it has been called after the previous management committee 'failed to carry out an AGM by August 31 2020 as required by the club rules and therefore by their inaction ceased to hold office.'

The second meeting due to take place tonight (Friday) is to discuss club matters, club chairman Simon Smedley said.

The online petition, started over the weekend, states: “Buxton Rugby Club was established nearly a century ago.

"Since then the club has come a long way, firstly owning its own clubhouse on Peveril Road and then later achieving a lifelong ambition to many, of owning and building its own clubhouse premises at the current Sunnyfields site.

"The site is now under threat of a proposed sale. Please support this petition and help Buxton Rugby Club retain its home grounds for the greater good of the community.”

A planning application submitted to High Peak Borough Council for change of use of the existing rugby clubhouse building to include a day nursery facility has also now been approved.

Sport England initially opposed the plans for any ‘development which would lead to the loss of, or prejudice the use of, all/part of a playing field’.

However, they later said the principle of the nursery ‘is not objected to’ subject to the existing playing fields not being prejudiced.