ILKLEY Rugby Club could be about to finally start the process of developing an extension to their clubhouse.

On Monday, the club’s committee will come together to decide whether to split the project in two, and start its primary stage before revised planning permission runs out.

Ilkley have been fundraising for the extension since 2015, and planning permission was originally obtained until May 2020.

Upon entering last year, the club seemed like they were ready to commence the project if they retrofitted a number of items which included the solar panels and a glass separator between the club room and the extension.

However, it was paused when the tender documents came in a little higher than estimated and the RFU had to put their loan, of approximately £60,000, on hold because of covid.

Although the pandemic did allow the planning permission to be extended to May of this year.

With doubts over whether the project would go ahead before the new date, the club decided to match the funds that Ilkley Parish Council had given them a few years ago to improve the hard standing on the grass area between the 1st XV pitch and Denton Road.

Starting phase one now would let the club get its final finances in order and mark the clubhouse's 10-year anniversary in the perfect fashion.

As a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), Ilkley have a responsibility to invest in the development of sport.

It is vital the club act now because their cap ex money is slowly going backwards due to inflation.The investment in the solar panels alone would save approximately £1000 per annum.

Time can also not be wasted as there is no guarantee the outcome of a planning re-application will be success.

A weatherproof roof would cover the space and look attractive, costing approximately one half-two thirds of the finished cost.

Chairman Mike Halling is in favour of putting the roof up like option C (right) over D and E which both cover the surrounding space.

Mr Halling said: “When the planning was extended, it gave us a new window of opportunity. The suggestion that we do phase one and retain planning looks imminently sensible to me.

“It leaves us with lots of financial flexibility because we are not taking out all we have in the capital account.

“One option was to put a steel skeleton up but that would have looked terrible for two years.

“Putting a nice roof up with the solar panels and the open space below, that struck me.”

If it does get the green light, work could get underway from May 1, taking no longer than 8-10 weeks so it would be ready for the new season. Phase two could then be completed in two or three years time.

Mr Halling also commented on how the club have come through this past year remarkably well financially, currently running a profit, after receiving grants and cutting costs.