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Hadleigh Rugby Club explores ambitious plans to redevelop site after arson attack




A Suffolk rugby club is exploring ambitious plans to redevelop its site following a devastating arson attack earlier this year.

Hadleigh Rugby Club’s changing rooms were gutted in the fierce blaze in June, destroying multiple training supplies in the process.

Club chairman Charlie Warburton said the incident had left the club without a key resource.

Hadleigh RFC has received a donation from UK Power Networks to help replenish their training equipment which was damaged in an arson attack in June. Ginge Anderson coach Hadleigh colts with coaches Harry Collins and Graeme Crow.Picture by Mark Westley. (42260164)
Hadleigh RFC has received a donation from UK Power Networks to help replenish their training equipment which was damaged in an arson attack in June. Ginge Anderson coach Hadleigh colts with coaches Harry Collins and Graeme Crow.Picture by Mark Westley. (42260164)

“Someone decided to do this, and whether it was a deliberate attack and an attempt to destroy the whole thing, or a prank gone wrong, we need to be doing more in the community to make sure people see the value of our facility,” he said.

In the aftermath of the fire, a working group was set up to discuss how the building should be reinstated to accommodate both the rugby club and other sports groups which use the facilities.

“We want to make use of the building as best we can,” said Mr Warburton. “We are all working together, which is encouraging, but there’s a lot of work to do.”

The club has raised £8,760 so far through an online fundraising drive to help towards the cost of the project, which Mr Warburton said he was delighted with.

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity across the east of England, has donated £250 to help replenish some of the team’s training equipment, including tackle bags and outdoor cones.

Graeme Woolacott-Crow, who works at the company and volunteers as an assistant coach, said: “This grant is great news for the club, which was badly impacted by the fire and left a lot of things needing replacing.

“My son, Nathan, played for the under-16s team last season and has now moved up to the colts team, while I really enjoy getting involved with the coaching.

“The coronavirus pandemic was another significant blow to the club’s finances and operations, but this funding is an important step in the right direction.”

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