Weston Football Club set for town centre move to share ground with Weston RFC?

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 July 2018

It is hoped a ground share arrangement would grow both clubs on and off the pitch. Picture: Will.T.Photography

It is hoped a ground share arrangement would grow both clubs on and off the pitch. Picture: Will.T.Photography

Archant

Weston’s top rugby and football clubs are mulling the possibility of a ground share, with the latter set for ‘major development’ or relocation.

The football club could move to Weston Rugby Club's ground in Sunnyside Road.The football club could move to Weston Rugby Club's ground in Sunnyside Road.

Weston Football Club face two options as it looks to make its ‘next step’ within the next three years, with opportunities to redevelop the Woodspring Stadium, in Winterstoke Road, or moving to Weston Rugby Club’s base at Sunnyside Road on the table.

The developments would be underpinned financially by the creation of housing and retail space in Winterstoke Road, and would see facilities improved in ‘every aspect’ with an expansion of the Woodspring’s clubhouse to two storeys mooted if that avenue is pursued.

The football club’s managing director, Oli Bliss, said it is ‘50/50’ over which path will be taken, but believes both routes lead to an exciting future.

The Seagulls play in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football, while the rugby club turn out in the fifth division of the country’s league structure – and it is thought a ground share could give both teams a platform to climb the ranks.

Paul Bliss Chairman and Oli Bliss managing director.Paul Bliss Chairman and Oli Bliss managing director.

Mr Bliss, speaking at a fans forum on Sunday, said: “We’re looking at different options for the club to improve its facilities, whether it’s at a different location or here.”

Mr Bliss continued: “We’ve got to improve our stadium, we’ve got to improve the sports hall and we’ve got to improve our social facilities.

“To do that we’ve either got to relocate so we can get new investment in or we need to come up with a major development plan for the Woodspring Stadium – that is the next step for the club.

“The plan is to develop above the clubhouse and the stadium would connect to that, but that’s obviously a big funding application through the Football Foundation.

“We’d be looking at residential apartments as part of the complex and maybe some retail.

“Our facilities would be similar to what we have now, just better in every aspect.”

Mr Bliss told supporters ‘two to three years is a realistic timescale’, and first-team manager Marc McGregor added the club is ‘in a really good position and an exciting place to be’.

The Mercury approached the rugby club to comment on the proposals, but declined to offer a statement at this time.

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