Wasps and college group respond to petition after decision to not set up training base on land near rugby club in Leamington

The Henley-in-Arden Sports Centre owned by Warwickshire College Group.
The Henley-in-Arden Sports Centre owned by Warwickshire College Group.

Wasps and Warwickshire College Group have responded to objections against the rugby club's plans to build a training base on the educational establishment's Henly in Arden Sports Centre site.

In October The Courier reported that, after months of discussions, the professional rugby club had decided not to buy land near Old Leamingtonian's Rugby club on the outskirts of Leamington and had instead opted to purchase the site of the Henley-in-Arden Sports Centre owned by Warwickshire College Group (WCG).

But, last week week, a newly formed campaign group named The Henley Sports Centre Alliance has launched a petition against the plans which has gained more than 1,600 signatures within a short space of time.

The college group and Wasps have since issues a joint statement, which says: “We have met Beaudesert & Henley in Arden Joint Parish Council and the Henley Sports Centre Alliance, to listen to their concerns and talk about our proposed plans for the site.

“WCG are working to minimise the impact on existing sport centre users, and liaising with clubs and organisations to find suitable alternative arrangements for them where possible.

“WCG recognises that the Henley-in-Arden Sports Centre in its current form will require a significant investment in the longer term to maintain all the facilities; this sale will enable the site to be invested in, whilst continuing the group’s support of Wasps as a Premiership Rugby team moving into Warwickshire.

“We believe this project is one that can benefit the town in the long-term, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders in progressing our plans.”