Old Leamingtonians agree to house Wasps’ training base

Wasps' new state-of-the-art training facilities are set to be based at OLs' Crofts ground.
Wasps' new state-of-the-art training facilities are set to be based at OLs' Crofts ground.

Wasps’ plans to establish a permanent training base at Old Leamingtonians moved a step closer last night.

Members of The Crofts-based club voted in favour of entering into a contractual arrangement with the Premiership club at an EGM which will see Wasps lease, on a long-term basis, a number of pitches.

These will be improved to Premiership training standard in addition to the establishment of a customised clubhouse and training centre with car parking, all subject to planning regulations.

The deal includes Old Leamingtonians increasing their total sporting area in order to accommodate the needs of all of its sections including a strong mini, junior and ladies’ section.

There will also be the ability to allow other local community organisations to hire a state-of-the-art all-weather pitch with improved floodlighting to be laid down on the current Pitch 2 area.

Club chairman Phil Eales stressed that the Old Leamingtonians Rugby Football Club remains an amateur club providing sporting facilities for all sections of the community and that the Wasps deal will not adversely impact the members’ facilities.

Rather they will be extended and improved and the new arrangements when completed will be a fantastic legacy for future generations of rugby players and other community sporting opportunities.

Nick Eastwood, chief executive of Wasps Group, said: “We are delighted that the members of Old Leamingtonians RFC have agreed a majority vote in favour of Wasps building a permanent training base at The Crofts on Bericote Road.

“We have established a very positive relationship with Old Leamingtonians and will now work closely with them to draw up, agree and submit a planning application.

“We are grateful for the co-operation of Old Leamingtonians along with other stakeholders and third parties, and look forward to working with them in the future to deliver a top-quality training centre.

“We continue to operate from the training base at Broadstreet RFC and are very grateful to the club for the continued support in the use of their excellent facilities.”