North Derbyshire looks set to gain a new sports village, thanks to the relocation of Chesterfield Panthers’, writes Andrew Jarvis.
The town’s rugby club is poised to switch from its current base at Stonegravels to a new stare-of-the-art home at Dunston at the start of the 2012/13 season.
Planners gave the green light for 127 dwellings to be built on the pitches at the side of Sheffield Road last week, sealing the club’s move.
The new site – which will cost around £1.7m to develop – will include three rugby pitches, two football pitches, a cricket pitch and an all-weather playing facility.
Panthers’ current home, which is within walking distance of the town centre, is set to be redeveloped by Miller Homes of Derby, while the club moves to the periphery.
Pitch construction at Dunston has already begun and it is hoped the club will play its first games at its new home in September.
Work on the new clubhouse – which will have no fewer than six dressing rooms, a kitchen and a spacious bar area – will begin soon for completion in December.
And club spokesman Fred Pell is seeking football clubs and a cricket club who would like to be based at the new complex.
He said: “We’ve held discussions before but now we can start talking seriously because building is about to start very soon.
“The Panthers will be the host club, but we are looking for other clubs to come and join us.’’
The rugby club is in possession of a £50,000 Sport England grant to develop cricket at their new venue where it is hoped stumps will be pitched for the 2013 summer.
Bosses Stonegravels have watched with interest Chesterfield FC’s move from Saltergate to the B2net and they hope some similar benefits will come their way.
Chiefs at Stonegravels are hoping the move will give the club a big boost and help attract additional sponsorship deals.
And one way sports fans across the region can help is to subscribe to a ‘buy-a-brick’ campaign. The special bricks, which will be inscribed with brief messages and adorn the clubhouse walls, will cost either £25 or £100.
For further information, Fred Pell can be contacted after 5pm on (01246) 857480.