Bangor Rugby and Cricket Club unveils upgrade proposals


By Roger Corbett


PLANS have been unveiled for a major upgrade of facilities at Bangor Rugby and Cricket Club.

With participation in both sports growing considerably each year, the club’s management committee has decided to upgrade the clubhouse and to add two new self-contained female changing rooms as part of a large-scale series of improvements.

The club currently fields four senior rugby teams and four youth teams, from U12 to U18, and one of the largest mini rugby sections in the province with close to 200 children playing regularly.

In addition, the club shares in running the combined North Down Women’s Rugby team with Ards and Donaghadee Rugby Clubs. 

The cricket section has six men’s and a women’s senior team whilst the youth section is thriving with over 175 children participating and playing competitive cricket in eight teams at U11, U13, U15 and U17 level and an U11 girls’ team.

Club Chairman Mark Thallon said the rugby and cricket sections  recognise the importance of youth and women’s sport to the future success and long-term sustainability of the club and for the wellbeing of the participants themselves.

 ”The Club has been working on a scheme to upgrade our current facilities and we are seeking to provide two new self-contained female/youth changing rooms which will allow female/youth games to take place at the same time as male fixtures which the existing facilities cannot accommodate,” said Mr Thallon. 

“In addition, we are looking to upgrade the WCs and showers to improve efficiency, including accessible WCs, a disabled access lift, an upgraded ground floor entrance hall and a new player entrance directly to the pitches.”

Mr Thallon explained that the club has secured just over £380,000 of facilities improvement funding as part of the Ulster Rugby Club Capital Improvement Project application to the UK Governments Levelling Up Fund (Round 2).  This funding is specifically to cover the provision of self-contained female changing rooms and other associated works to the existing clubhouse facilities.

Club President, Drew Kennedy, said it has taken a lot of effort to get to the point of being able to submit this scheme for consideration by Ards and North Down Council’s Planning Department. 

“I would like to thank everyone involved with moving this project forward, which now allows us to submit a planning application for this scheme,” he said.

“We are also delighted to be working with local Bangor architectural practice Inside Out, and believe that this scheme, once delivered, will help to secure the long-term future for both sports in Bangor.”