RPYFC Developments Plans for Reigate School – February 2019
As many of you will know, the Club has grown from having one U9 team 12 years ago to running 37 youth teams this season, with a further 130 children enrolled in our U8 Soccer School. The growth has been almost entirely through word of mouth, and we clearly now have a significant footprint in the local community. Whilst growth like this is clearly a positive, in that we are now able to provide football for a far larger number of children, it brings some challenges with it, and the biggest of these is training and playing facilities. In particular, there is a shortage of good quality floodlit training facilities in our local area and this is starting to impose a significant constraint on our ability to provide football for your children.
In order to prepare the club as far as possible for the coming years, the Management Committee has developed a model of how we see the number of teams developing, and this indicates that we have a clear need to secure additional facilities, above and beyond what we currently use. Furthermore, as the Club does not own any freehold or leasehold assets, and any land that might become available is likely to have significant obstacles in terms of planning permission etc to enable it to be used for our purposes, we have looked at partnering with owners of suitable assets to attempt to secure long-term leases over such facilities. The upshot of this process is that we have a potential opportunity to partner with Reigate School, one of our major partners currently, to secure some excellent all-weather facilities for our medium to long-term use.
In essence, we currently have a three-stage vision of how the club’s facilities might be developed from the current position.
Phase 1: Resurfacing of the existing netball court at Reigate School. This will provided a 60×40 floodlit space with high-quality artificial grass, which would be suitable for training for most of our teams. The objective here is to carry out the project in the summer so that it is ready to use from September onwards.
Phase 2: Resurfacing of the existing main astroturf pitch at Reigate School, using a 3G surface. This would not only be suitable for training, but also potentially for matches at all age groups. The target is to complete this phase of the project in Summer 2020.
Phase 3: Identify an additional site, where we could stage matches/training and effectively use as the main base of the club. This is clearly a significantly bigger project than Phases 1 and 2, and the timescale for it is necessarily longer term.
For Phases 1 and 2 above, our partnership with the school will give us a long-term licence agreement for the use of the facilities. To the extent that funding is provided directly from the club and its members, as opposed to third party funding agencies, we will enjoy a period of rent-free use of them commensurate with the amount we contribute.
The indicative cost for Phases 1 and 2 above is £250,000 and although we are approaching outside agencies for grant funding, even if we are successful with our applications, this will not provide all of the money, and we will need to raise a significant portion of the funds ourselves. In this regard, we are therefore offering you as parents the opportunity to help us in this endeavour by paying your children’s subscriptions in advance. Under this approach, you can elect to pay this June for up to 5 years’ subscriptions, frozen at the 2018/19 rate of £200. So, for example, if you have one child in the club and wanted to pay for the full 5 years, you would pay £1000 in June and receive a receipt from the club confirming that your child’s subscriptions are fully paid up to and including the 23/24 season. If you prefer, rather than pay 5 years’ subscriptions, you can choose to pay for 2, 3 or 4 years. If, once you have paid subscriptions in advance, your circumstances change that so that your child no longer wished to be a member of the club, we would refund the balance of any pre-paid subscriptions.
The club is a not-for-profit organisation, which has grown rapidly in recent years, and we aim to generate a small surplus each year, which is held in a reserve, both as a buffer against any unforeseen expenses and also to provide a fund for small items of capital expenditure. This model has worked well to date, but whilst the club is sound financially, the size of our reserves is nowhere near the amounts that would be required for the projects outlined above, hence our need to raise funds at this point if we are to proceed with them. Essentially, for both Phases 1 and 2, the money we contribute as a club would be treated by the school as advance payment of rent on the facilities. The issue is therefore one of cashflow, rather than the club incurring any additional cost over and above what it would ordinarily expect to be incurring.
Clearly, there is no obligation on you to make any advance payment of subscriptions, but if you are in a position to do so, we would be most grateful for your support as we try to secure good-quality facilities for your children to use for the foreseeable future. This is an exciting time for the club, and if you would be interested in making advance payments of your child’s subscriptions, please let me know by completing the section at the bottom of the email you have been sent recently and returning it to me, by Sunday 17 March. PIease note that there is no requirement to pay any money at this point: the purpose of writing to all parents at this time is to gauge the level of support we might have within the club for this fund-raising exercise. If we proceed, which we very much hope we will, we will be asking those who indicate their interest to make payment before the summer, so that we have funds in place in time to finance Phase 1 of the project.
Naturally, if you have any questions in relation to this, please let me know.
Reigate Priory Youth Football Club