Bellway Homes provides new changing rooms for Eton Manor
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 December 2018
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Eton Manor Honorary Secretary John Roach hailed the kind generosity of Bellway Homes for saving the club a 'six-figure sum'
Bellway Homes recently teamed up with local East End rugby club, Eton Manor, and donated the Wanstead-based outfit brand-new changing facilities for their New Wilderness Ground.
The facilities were a key component in the delivery of a major investment in grass roots rugby, which saw the club obtaining over £1 million in funding for the provision of a new state of the Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) and associated infrastructure from the England Rugby Football Union (RFU).
Now the club is putting its pitch and facilities to good use along with local schools and sports clubs that use the facilities.
It is hoped such investment will help the East End of London make a worthy contribute to the next generation of England Rugby stars.
The opportunity arose when it came to light that the existing club changing facilities did not meet the standards required to obtain the RFU Investment in the AGP.
The project was provided through the ‘Bellway4Good’ Initiative, whereby Bellway works pro-actively in the local communities where its developments take place to provide community benefits and infrastructure, through funding, deploying its construction expertise and its supply chain.
Bellway staff gave their time to work on the project and suppliers carried out work at cost.
Bellway had funded a series of modular buildings that originally cost £200,000 to house a senior citizens centre for its Major Regeneration of the Pembury Estate in Hackney.
The facilities became surplus during 2017 and rather than transport the units for scrap, the opportunity arose to give them a new lease of life by gifting them to Eton Manor.
Manor funded the ground works and Bellway installed the cabins and then fully re-furbished them to provide a building with two, twenty person changing rooms, shower and washroom facilities.
Ian Gorst, London and South East Regional Chairman of Bellway Homes, said: “After delivering 300 homes as part of the regeneration project at Pembury, we wanted to look at ways we could give back to the community.
“Donating these cabins will make a real difference to the rugby club. Eton Manor is a great club for young rugby fans and does lots of work in the local community, so we are delighted we were able to support them.
“Our team delivered the cabins to the site, painted, dressed and plumbed them in and all for free.
“It is important to Bellway to help the communities where we operate, and seeing these young rugby players excited because of our help has been very rewarding. We hope it will give the teams and members a boost for years to come.”
Eton Manor was founded in 1928 by a group of ‘Etonians,’ who wanted to provide a sport for the children of East London.
In 1996, the club found a new green in Wanstead and with funding from the National Sports Lottery and other initiatives, built a £350,000 clubhouse.
However, with a growing number of teams, the club has been in desperate need of additional changing rooms.
The club had spent money over the last year installing new sustainable energy infrastructure including a 150m water well to service the clubhouse and changing rooms.
Using the special heating and water system, there is now underfloor heating and hot water in the former cabins.
The money it saved from Bellway’s donation has enabled the club to benefit from a grant from the Rugby Football Unions’ Rugby 365 AGP programme.
This scheme aims to deliver more than £50m of investment into 1,000 artificial courts across England.
Manor’s Honorary Secretary, John Roach, who joined the club in 1972, said: “The money Bellway has saved us is a six-figure sum.
“Without the company’s kind generosity, we would be cancelling the game, in the middle of the season due to regular pitch flooding. The former changing rooms were small in comparison and were old and tired.
“They definitely now have the wow factor; many members have complimented us on the facilities and the youngsters have already started to make use of them, along with local school group when they use the club.
“The new AGP will also allow more playing hours at our club, ensuring we can offer more matches and training sessions and merits a better playing experience for our players.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to Bellway Homes, we could not have done it without their help.”
The sports facilities at Eton Manor include floodlit outdoor pitches, a club house with seminar space and now standalone changing room block.