A world class, all-weather rugby pitch will be laid at Riverside Lands Playing Fields, at Dukes Meadows in Chiswick, after agreement was reached between key partners.
The pitch is being funded by the Rugby Football Union, but agreement had to be reached between Chiswick Rugby Football Club (CRFC), Old Meadonians Football Club (OMFC) and Hounslow Council in order for the development to go ahead.
At the same time, CRFC is to develop a major extension to the south end of its existing clubhouse providing six new changing rooms and other facilities.
Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, said: “I am delighted that agreement has been reached which facilitates the installation of the rugby artificial pitch by the Rugby Football Union and other works by CRFC."
“I am also delighted that the council has reached agreement with OMFC to secure their long-term future on the site," Cllr Curran added.
"The council is committed to supporting both clubs to ensure that they can continue to develop and grow in providing excellent sporting opportunities for all.”
Kelvin Campbell, chairman of Chiswick RFC, said: “I’m delighted to confirm the commencement of installation works by the RFU to create a new, fully floodlit, artificial grass rugby pitch constructed to World Rugby standards at Riverside Lands, Chiswick, and acknowledge the invaluable support provided by both Hounslow Council and the RFU in making it happen.”
Old Meadonians chairman, Derek Barnett, said: “With 10 men’s teams and hundreds of children affiliated to the club through local youth teams, Old Meadonians is one of London’s largest and most successful amateur football clubs.
“We are very thankful that with the support of Cllr Steve Curran and his team we can continue to provide community football in Chiswick for the foreseeable future.”
The RFU investment is part of a national programme to facilitate growth in rugby and a greater engagement with local sporting communities.
Dukes Meadows will continue to be transformed as part of the council’s regeneration project, which was given the green light in February 2018.
Improvement works began on the huge site with the installation of bat boxes to support biodiversity as well as maintenance to improve views along the River Thames.
As part of the plans, a pedestrian bridge will be built under the arch of the Grade II-listed Barnes Bridge, linking the footpath of the promenade to the footpath of Dukes Meadows.
Other improvements at the site include:
- improved entrances for pedestrians
- enhancement of the Thames path
- renovation of the bandstand area and promenade
- ecological improvements including tree planting, creation of new habitats for bats and improvements to the nature reserve
- a new and improved boathouse
- renovation of sports pitches and sports pavilions