The first official step in the club’s relocation to Cloverhill was taken last week by the lodging of planning permission with Sligo Co. Council. As stated in last week’s notes, much work has been done by the Development Sub-Committee, chaired by Des Butler, over the past four years in progressing the development.
The site at Cloverhill extends to 18.7 acres, and this provides the opportunity to greatly upscale facilities, as the club’s existing location at Hamilton Park comprises of just 6.7 acres. Given the increased popularity of rugby in Sligo, and with the exponential growth of under-age rugby locally, the two existing pitches could not cater adequately. This has resulted in matches being postponed and home venue on occasion being conceded. This season the entire juvenile section moved to the Sligo I.T. facilities at Ballinode for training and home games.
The planned new development should provide a marvellous impetus for the game locally. The synthetic pitch, built to I.R.B. specifications, will ensure that games will go ahead regardless of the weather, while the three grass, sand based pitches will complement this. There will also be a running track along the synthetic pitch. The clubhouse will include eight dressing rooms, referees rooms, a performance gym and a cardiac gym, a t’ai chi/yoga room, treatment rooms, a meeting room, a function room, kitchen and bar.
Much research has been done by the Development Sub-Committee and the club’s architect, Colin Bell, in planning the facility, and top clubs both in this country and in the U.K. were visited. The Sub-Committee are confident that the new club will compare very favourably with the best and most modern rugby clubs in these islands.