Wasps Rugby Club will not be building a training base on the outskirts of Leamington after several months of discussions over a possible project.
The club, which plays its home fixtures at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, has today (Wednesday October 23) announced that it has bought a 13-acre site near Henley-in-Arden where it will build a new high-performance centre.
The club had been in discussions with Old Leamingtonians (OLs) Rugby Club for several months about potentially creating a training base adjacent to its ground The Crofts in Bericote Road, Blackdown, and Wasps players currently train at Broadstreet Rugby Club in Coventry.
Stephen Vaughan, chief executive for sports at Wasps said: “It is no secret that we have been searching for the right location to create a high-performance centre that we can call home and the site in Henley- in-Arden ticks all the boxes.
“It is important to have long-term stability around our training base location and owning our own centre will bring a number of advantages to the club.
“We have discussed the proposed move with our friends at Old Leamingtonians and Broadstreet and we look forward to maintaining strong working relationships with them as two strong local clubs.
“We would like to thank them for their understanding and co-operation, and they appreciate that the opportunity to have our own dedicated performance centre is the best option for the future of the Club.
“We will continue to liaise with WCG, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and other stakeholders throughout the planning process, in a move we believe will benefit not just Wasps but also the wider community.”
A club statement from OLs says that Wasps believed they could buy the land at Henley-in-Arden at a "significantly lower cost" than that near its ground in Leamington.
It says: "Old Leamingtonians has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Wasps over the period during which they have been in the area and we very much hope that this will continue into the future with the aim of improving access to and the standard of Rugby Football in the Warwickshire County.
"For example, the club recently announced that two Wasps players had joined the coaching staff at The Crofts."
Club chairman Phil Eales said that Old Leamingtonians will not be financially disadvantaged by Wasps' decision but that some of the deal such as the purchase of additional land will not now proceed.
He added that the club will "continue to provide excellent facilities for all sections of the local population including senior men and ladies, mini and junior age groups as well as mixed ability rugby and touch rugby".