More sports facilities set for village as rugby club given green light for ‘world class facility’
PUBLISHED: 06:55 11 February 2019
A professional rugby union club will start work to build a ‘world-class training facility’ between two villages next month.
Bristol Bears successfully applied to North Somerset Council in April 2017 to build a training complex on land at Kingcott Farm, between Failand and Abbots Leigh.
The rugby club will build a two-storey training barn containing a gym, changing rooms, a floodlit all-weather 4G pitch, three grass pitches and offices for staff.
A separate application for changes to the Beggar Bush Lane site has been submitted, which involves providing access from the changing rooms to the pitches and increasing the floorspace of the building to 195sq.m.
Alterations to the entrance and roof by lowering the building levels to reduce visual impact also form part of the revised scheme.
Work will begin next month and the club aims to be using the facilities by April 2020.
Bosses aim to house all its teams, from the first XV to junior age groups, on the site.
The Bears, which rebranded last year, lie 10th in the Premiership table and could be relegated back to the Championship.
Chief operating officer Mark Tainton said: “This facility will be massive for us, we are trying to be one of the best teams both in England and Europe.
“We need this facility to provide the right kind of training in our own building so we are not relying on other people to allow us access.
“This world-class facility will help us to recruit the top talents to come and play for the Bears.”
Bristol Bears falls under the Bristol Sport umbrella, which also has Bristol City Football Club and the Bristol Flyers basketball side on its books.
The football club successfully applied to build three training pitches, a pavilion and a 500-seat stadium at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital school, further down Beggar Bush Lane, in September.
The Bears train at Clifton Rugby Club in Henbury, where its offices are also situated.
A club spokesman said: “The changes are beneficial in design terms and importantly do not change the volume of the previously approved plan.
“As the volume of the building remains unchanged, we believe there will be no significant landscape impact as a result of the development.”