Rugby club awarded a new 25-year lease

Cumbernauld Rugby Club has been playing at Auchenkilns for 47 years
Cumbernauld Rugby Club has been playing at Auchenkilns for 47 years

Cumbernauld Rugby Club has been awarded a new 25-year lease for its Auchenkilns ground.

The club was granted its new lease at a meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s infrastructure committee.

Club officials Iain Calder and Jim Cochrane of Cumbernauld Rugby Club, welcomed the decision.

Mr Calder said: “This is the culmination of several years’ work negotiating with North Lanarkshire Properties to secure a new lease which will now allow us to approach the Scottish Rugby Union, the Scottish Football Association and external funders, such as Sport Scotland, with a view to extending our current changing block which is no longer fit for purpose. 

“The existing clubhouse was erected in 1979, but has no provision for gender specific changing facilities, which is absolutely necessary in this day and age given the rise in popularity in rugby for girls and women.

“The extra provision in changing facilities will also enable us to make better arrangements for our mini and youth sections.”

Mr Cochrane added: “I have been involved in dialogue with NLP since 2013 as the existing lease was due for renewal in May 2017. 

“Stressing the requirement for a minimum lease of 25 years was of vital importance in our argument as external funders required that length of term as a minimum for funding purposes so it’s been a lengthy process but well worth the wait!

“On behalf of everyone at Cumbernauld Rugby Club I would like to extend our thanks to Councillors Alan Graham and Gillian Fannan for their ongoing support in helping us to achieve this outcome.”

Councillor Graham said: “I’m delighted Cumbernauld Rugby Club has secured this lease to further the brilliant work they do in our community.  

“This agreement will strengthen their ability to obtain funding to grow the club further still and build on what is already an outstanding community asset.

“Iain, Jim and others have worked tirelessly with the council to secure this agreement and I’m delighted that an amicable arrangement has been finalised which will benefit our community.”

An amendment tabled by Councillor Tom Johnston to grant the club a 50-year lease was defeated 15-14.

He said: “Last February, Cumbernauld Rugby Club informed all councillors they needed a full 50-year lease in order to attract major, long-term investment.

“NL Property actually offered 50 years but with a 10-year break clause. Their view was that the rugby pitches were sitting on potentially lucrative housing land.

“Bellshill Boys’ Club has a 99-year lease, Viewpark Sports Club has an 80-year lease and there are six other leases of between 48-50 years , and there are six other leases of between 48-50 years.

“So why is our rugby club now being cut to 25 years, which can limit investment in rugby?  It seems greedy eyes are on selling off the land to housing developers.”