Keighley Rugby Union to Install Artificial Pitch for Next Season's Games
Keighley Rugby Union will play on an artificial grass pitch from next season.
The £750,000 Rugby Football Union investment will include powerful floodlights to allow top-flight night games.
In May the First Team pitch will be ripped up and replaced with a new 3G surface, with a shock layer below, as is favoured with great success by European Champions Saracens.
Planning permission is to be lodged by the RFU with Bradford Council shortly.
KRUFC chairman Sam Griffin, who has lead the negotiations with the RFU, outlined the proposal to members at the Rose Cottage clubhouse on Monday evening.
Mr Griffin said the RFU has selected the Utley club as it in an ideal position; geographically, because it is not subject to flooding; and administratively, as KRUFC owns the land.
The RFU will take out a 30 year lease on the land and the Yorkshire One side will pay a ‘peppercorn rent’ to use the new facilities.
Other teams and sporting organisations can use the pitch - which consists of plastic grass infilled with rubber crumb - for £30 an hour.
The crumbs hold up the plastic grass stems and provide bounce.
The pitch can be used in practically all weathers and at night time due to the 200 lux floodlighting.
A 40ft garage is part of the plans and will house a tractor, which will be used to maintain the playing surface.
Each 3G surface has a 10 year lifespan and the RFU will re-lay the surface twice more during the 30 year scheme.
The meeting heard that KRUFC’s junior committee views the 3G plan as an opportunity to be embraced and says it as a ‘legacy for the future’.
First XV stand-off Alex Brown, speaking on behalf of senior players, said the 3G pitch is welcomed.
And a show of hands at the meeting unanimously proved the Old Guard is for the new development.
If planning is granted work will begin in May and be complete by August, ready for the 2017-18 season.
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- News Editor