Chesterfield Panthers invest in new flood lights
Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Club are set to benefit from new flood lights at their Dunston Road ground.
Club representatives hope the £80,000 improvement will be operational by Christmas of this year.
The lights will illuminate one of the club’s three full-sized rugby pitches.
Panthers chairman Phil Arnold said: “Our club is continually growing in members and the demand for space for evening activities has expanded greatly.
“By having a second flood-lit pitch, we will reduce the over-use of our main pitch and significantly improve playing facilities for our teams.
“We already have some of the best facilities in the Three Counties of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire and this investment is a huge bonus – we hope to see a boost in new players, both male and female, joining the club as a result.”
The rugby club – which has 20 children’s, junior, senior, ladies and professional teams – also has two football pitches and a purpose-built clubhouse with six changing areas and a fully catered bar.
Arnold said: “Not only will this be great for our current teams but also our club supporters. The redeveloped pitch will become the better of our three pitches for spectators as we have also recently created a viewing area overlooking the playing field.
“Our supporters are a huge part of what makes the club and we want to give them the best experience we can when they come to a match.”
Funding the flood lights became possible after the club leased some land adjacent to their rugby pitch to mobile phone mast operator Shared Access.
The deal between the rugby club and Shared Access was led by Nelsons Solicitors.
“Nelsons has been invaluable in our dealings with all of the parties concerned and this boost to our funds from the land deal, together with grants we are actively seeking from various bodies, means we should be able to soon install flood lights onto our second pitch,” added Arnold.
Paul Hinchliffe, specialist commercial property solicitor at Nelsons, who acted for the rugby club, said: “This was a rewarding transaction to be involved in because it has an obvious benefit – it will allow the club to expand its matchday and training offering.
“The deal itself required us to involve a number of different parties – including Sports England, the Rugby Football Foundation and Chesterfield Borough Council. It is something everyone wanted to see happen because of how much it will benefit the club.
“Mobile phone coverage in the area was due to take a hit as a mast on another piece of land was being demolished. Not only has the deal helped the club, it is also helping residents continue to get online using their mobile phones.”