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Lease means more cash for sports

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 June 2009 | UPDATED: 08:18 01 August 2010

SPORTS clubs in Beccles can finally apply for grants after a new long-term lease for the sports pavilion in Common Lane was secured this week.

The complex, which is home to the rugby, football, hockey and cricket club, has been without a letting agreement since the previous one expired five years ago.

SPORTS clubs in Beccles can finally apply for grants after a new long-term lease for the sports pavilion in Common Lane was secured this week.

The complex, which is home to the rugby, football, hockey and cricket club, has been without a letting agreement since the previous one expired five years ago.

This has left the sports clubs in limbo, as they have been unable to apply for outside funding without a long-term lease in place.

However a new 25-year deal has been struck between Beccles Town Council and Waveney District Council, meaning that the clubs can now apply to sub-lease the pitches and look for grants.

Nick Beese, president of Beccles Rugby Club, has been pushing for the agreement for 18 months as he wants to bid for a £30,000 grant from the Rugby Football Union.

He said “It's been extremely frustrating but hopefully we're nearing the winning post,” he said. “It will benefit everybody at the sports complex because if we secure a lease on that pitch there's no reason why it can't be used for other activities.”

Mr Beese wants to use the money to sort out drainage problems on the pitch, which causes it to waterlog, and to improve the facilities at the club. He also wants to put more money into the junior, youth, and women's team.

The land is owned by Beccles Town Council, who lease it to Waveney District Council. The new lease has a few minor changes, with Beccles Town Council now responsible for the maintenance of the outside of the pavilion and Waveney responsible for the inside and the upkeep of the sports pitches.

Councillor Jack Walmsley, Mayor of Beccles called the new partnership good news.

“It should be better for all the users,” he said. “We now have a very clear lease, which specifies what the parties are responsible for, which can only be a good thing. We don't have the ambiguity.”

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