ILKLEY RFC have been awarded £5,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Asset Fund for emergency works, following flood damage from Storms Ciara and Dennis.

The storms and floods at the beginning of the year devastated homes, businesses and infrastructure across the country and had a major impact on sports facilities.

In February, Sport England announced emergency funding for the damages to help clean up and repair sports facilities to get them back up and running.

The grant will allow Ilkley Rugby Club to purchase large quantities of speciality sand, nutrients, seed and other growing aids and employ a sports turf specialist contractor to apply these vital elements to their playing surfaces.

It will also cover work to restore the drainage on their back pitch (pictured), which suffered a hammering in this year's floods

Ilkley chairman Mike Halling said: “We are delighted that Sport England has awarded this National Lottery funding to us. It will allow us to repair and restore our most valuable asset, our pitches.

“We all look forward to re-opening the club as soon as the coronavirus has been defeated, so that the community can once more benefit from these fantastic facilities.

“A project to provide irrigation and drainage to our main pitch, which was first played on exactly 100 years ago, is being evaluated and specifications drawn up. It is hoped that this work can be initiated as soon as funding is in place.

“While it can never protect us from the kind of floods experienced this year, the provision of drainage and irrigation will preserve the playing surface more effectively in the future.

“It is ironic that (groundsman) Bobby Simms is doing a daily rain dance following an exceptionally dry spell this last six weeks or so.”

For more details about the project, please contact the club’s secretary John Coen on: