Groundbreaking agreement aims to provide a major boost for sport in Wells

Mendip District CouncilA major new outdoor sports campus could be established in Wells thanks to a groundbreaking agreement between Mendip District Council and leading sports clubs in the city.

Mendip District Council’s Cabinet is due to consider the proposals at its meeting on Monday 11th November.

If approved, the site, on land between the A371 and Elm Close in Haybridge, would see new, modern sports facilities established for a number of local outdoor clubs, including the varied activities at Wells Sports Club, such as football, tennis, netball and archery, and Wells Rugby Club.

By moving so many of the city’s sports clubs onto one site, they will be able to share a range of new facilities. Mendip District Council will appoint consultants to liaise with all the clubs across the area that may be interested in joining in with this scheme, with the aim of providing state-of-the-art facilities, including a new clubhouse, courts and grass and synthetic pitches.

The groundbreaking deal follows negotiations between the council and a local landowner, which will allow a larger combined facility to be provided in Haybridge alongside land that has already been bought by the rugby club. This will ensure the clubs can continue to thrive in Wells, while benefitting from new and improved facilities.

Donna Nolan, Mendip District Council’s corporate manager for governance, assets and public spaces, said: “If these proposals are approved by Cabinet, this innovative approach to sports provision, which has been spearheaded by Mendip District Council, will secure the future of outdoor sports in Wells and provide these clubs with top class facilities.”

Cllr John Parham, portfolio holder for governance, assets and public spaces, said: “I’m delighted that this agreement has been reached and I will certainly be recommending that Cabinet approve this ambitious scheme. It’s great news for sports clubs in Wells and will ensure that they can thrive by benefitting from new high quality facilities.

“I would particularly like to thank the sports club and the rugby club for their support and cooperation in bringing this ambitious project to fruition.”

Richard Hibberd, a director of Wells RFC Ltd, said: “The rugby club has been working together with Mendip District Council on this project and is delighted at reaching this major milestone.

“The council is to be congratulated for its imagination and determination in progressing this impressive idea. Wells RFC is delighted to be a major protagonist in bringing such high quality sports facilities to the city which will be a significant benefit to the current and future generations.”

The new site in Haybridge would be leased long-term by Mendip District Council and is next to land that is already owned by Wells Rugby Club. It is hoped that all of the sports clubs could relocate onto the new combined site within the next three to four years.

Mendip District Council owns the freehold of the current site of Wells Sports Club and, once it had been vacated, would look to develop the site to provide housing for the district.

The rugby club will work to provide further new housing at its current rugby club site.


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