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FOOTBALL: Knitters and rugby club set for new bases.

Byline: IAN DAVIES

HINCKLEY'S football and rugby clubs could soon find themselves in new surroundings.

Premier Division Dr Martens side Hinckley United have put in a bid to buy the Leicester Road ground currently occupied by the town's rugby club - and part of the deal would involve re-locating the rugby club to a new, purpose built site.

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have already approved a planning application for Wilson Homes to build on and around United's Middlefield Lane site, affording the club the wherewithal to build a ground which would meet the requirements of the Conference should they win promotion from the Dr Martens League.

In a proposal laid out by United Chairman Kevin Downes, the club is seeking to build a ground with a capacity of 4,000 with 500 seats for the Conference which could be increased to 6,000 (including 1,000 seats) to satisfy Football League Division Three standards.

The development would also incorporate a training pitch, an all-weather pitch and parking for a minimum of 200 cars.

For their part, the rugby club would relocate to a site once earmarked for the town's crematorium, a few hundred yards along Leicester Road from their present ground.

A sub-committee set up at HRFC has agreed in principle to a move but stressed that they would need an area of land which could incorporate four pitches, a clubhouse and adequate parking. Whether the proposed Leicester Road site is capable of meeting those demands is subject to a surveyor's report.

The sale of Middlefield Lane is expected to generate up to pounds 2.5m and extra funding will be sought from the National Lottery, Sport England and the Football Foundation.

The rugby club's current Leicester Road site, which adjoins pitches used by Hinckley Town Cricket Club and Downes Sports FC is the subject of a covenant order which states that the area must be maintained for sports/leisure use.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 15, 2002
Words:321
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