Andy Howard during a rugby taster session.
Andy Howard during a rugby taster session.

AMBITIOUS plans for a major sports development are being drawn up in Barnard Castle.

The proposals include creating two new rugby pitches, a clubhouse, additional car parking, an artificial turf all-weather pitch and a 400-metre running track on land owned by Durham County Council adjacent to Teesdale School and the TCR Hub. 

The project, called Teesdale Sports Wheel, aims to provide a new and safer site for Barnard Castle Rugby Club with access to all-weather facilities. Currently the club uses pitches on the upper Demesnes, which are some distance from the clubhouse in Birch Road.

Details of the project, which has four partners – Barnard Castle Rugby Club, Teesdale School, TCR Hub and Durham County Council – were outlined to town councillors by Andy Howard, project lead manager for the rugby club, last week.

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Mr Howard, who is also chairman of the Barnard Castle junior rugby academy, said: “This is an exciting step change to take Barnard Castle Rugby Club into the future. It will give us the facilities in the town we need, as well as facilities for the community.

“It will see a fundamental change in the ability of the club to be sustainable and see the rugby club become a much more prominent and active supporting facility within the town and local community.”

It is hoped funding for the project would come from a combination of grant funding, release of capital from the sale of the existing clubhouse, along with money from Teesdale School and fundraising.

More details in this week's Teesdale Mercury.