Chelsea Transfer Target
Oct 5, 2015, 9:27 AM
Team(s): Not any more
I visited Matlock RUFC on 3/10 and flagged up (in WDYG) Cromford Meadows as a possible ground for concern. Worth adding detail - and putting this information in the correct thread.
Matlock, members of Midlands One East (level six), have played at Cromford Meadows since formation in 1928. The first XV pitch, though railed and floodlit, is relatively undeveloped - no cover, no hardstanding. I quote from the Club News section of the match programme: "We are attempting to secure a long-term lease on the Cromford Meadows playing pitches, which will then allow us to obtain grant aid from the RFF. The current situation is that we, as a club, sub-let from Derbyshire County Council education department, on a favour basis. Negotations with the owners of Cromford Meadows, Key Estates, are ongoing but circuitous. We are all hoping the situation can be resolved favourably in the next few months. Once the stability of a long-term lease has been established then the funding sources for a revamped clubhouse, modernised changing rooms etc can be approached with real expectation that things will happen - but not until a long lease is in place."
That, it seems, is the official version. The club photographer told me the new people at the helm of Cromford (Key) Estates are talking about £10,000 annual rent - way beyond the club's limited budget. I suggested it might be a way simply of getting the rugby club off doubtless valuable land, on the fringe of the Peak District National Park, but the photographer felt it unlikely permission would be granted for development of a scenic riverside site. I'd be amazed if it weren't Green Belt. That said, it's likely one of the parties will have to give way if the ground is to survive in its present form.
Public transport users should note Cromford station (on the Matlock branch) is very handy for the rugby ground - can't be more than a 10-minute walk. Not so for the village, mind…
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Oct 5, 2015, 9:39 AM)