Bid for al fresco entertainment zone and pizza oven at rugby club

Wymondham Rugby Football Club has applied to build an outdoor wooden covered area next to the clubhouse.

Wymondham Rugby Football Club in Bray Drive has applied to South Norfolk Council to build an outdoor wooden covered area next to the clubhouse. - Credit: Wymondham Rugby Football Club

A much-loved club is looking to add some swanky new features to its site in a bid to attract more people for sport and socialising.

Wymondham Rugby Football Club in Bray Drive has applied to South Norfolk Council to build an outdoor wooden covered area next to the clubhouse.

It will host a barbecue, pizza oven, entertainment area and gym equipment.

The design and access statement from the club, which was formed 50 years ago, said: "Since the pandemic facilities such as the rugby club along with other such places of social gathering have had to adapt to a different way of operating to allow a more comfortable and flexible use of outdoor spaces.

"The support given to the club by the local authority has allowed outdoor catering equipment to facilitate this and the covered area as proposed will give greater opportunities to utilise it for a variety of uses that fall within the current authorised uses throughout the year."

Liam Browning, general manager of Wymondham Rugby Football Club

Liam Browning, general manager of Wymondham Rugby Football Club - Credit: Wymondham Rugby Football Club

Liam Browning, general manager, said: "It will be a multi-use area. The club holds many events including beer festivals, wedding receptions, wakes and Christenings.

"We are trying to do away with the stigma of being just a rugby club. We are here for everyone."

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The club initially played at Wymondham High School before moving to Bellrope Lane and then Tuttles Lane.

It moved to its current home in 2018 and has 1,500 members.

Mr Browning said there was increasing interest in children joining junior teams since the end of the pandemic.

Paul Wootton, club chairman, said: "Since moving to Barnard Fields, we've seen our membership grow to record levels and hundreds of players and supporters of all ages are here every weekend of the season. This outdoor shelter will mean we can look after them in all weathers and it will help with catering when we put on youth festivals."

Kathryn Cross, Wymondham Town Council member and parent

Kathryn Cross, Wymondham Town Council member and parent - Credit: Kathryn Cross

Kathryn Cross, Wymondham Town Council member, said: "The club has had to work hard to bring in revenue following the pandemic. 

"There is a huge amount of goodwill among parents and supporters to keep this amazing facility going and many volunteers to man the barbecue, serve drinks and help out.

"Having been a volunteer on the barbecue many times myself - and on one occasion last year trying to cook and serve burgers in a gale with horizontal rain - this new covered area will be a lifesaver.

"The club is not just a fantastic place for children to play sport, it plays a huge role in their health and wellbeing."

The application will be considered in due course.