Low rents offer for sports clubs

Hemsworth MW v Pontefract Collieries -Dean Foley shoots on goal.
Hemsworth MW v Pontefract Collieries -Dean Foley shoots on goal.

SPORTS clubs in the district will be offered a £1 peppercorn rent by Wakefield Council.

Plans for the low-cost rent were approved this week by the council’s cabinet. It means the council will cease to carry out maintenance work on the club’s grounds as part of the proposals.

A council report said a long term tenancy at an affordable price, without maintenance assistance is the best option to allow the council to support the clubs and their volunteers.

It said the council would be unable to continue to carry out maintenance without a charge to the clubs due to budget cuts, but that the low rent should enable the clubs to become self-sustainable.

Hemsworth Miners Welfare (MW) Football Club and Kinsley Boys Football Club are two clubs that are set to be offered the £1 peppercorn rent.

Kevin Conway, chairman at Hemsworth MW Football Club, said they had been hoping to secure a peppercorn rent like this since the new clubhouse opened in 2007.

He said: “We used to be on a peppercorn rent of £1 and were quite happy to stay on that agreement. I have been campaigning to return to this agreement so we’ll be absolutely delighted to be offered it.

“The plans will more or less mean no change for us - we have a good community and band of volunteers behind us.

“We started years ago and we’ve done our own maintenance for the last seven to 10 years to prepare for this.”

The proposals will also have no negative effect on Kinsley Boys as they too carry out their own maintenance.

The council will still be able to carry out maintenance services on occasions that the clubs are unable to do themselves, but at full cost price.

Coun Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for communities, said: “The council currently supports a number of lease arrangements, and a number of these leases are overdue for renewal.

“But with the diminishing budget we feel the need to rationalise these arrangements.”