One year on from Princess Anne officially opening the new club house at Minchinhampton Rugby Club, the original planning conditions have been varied to allow for the building to be hired out with extending opening hours.

This will enable the building to be used by the wider community for a variety of purposes and help generate revenue for the next phases of the club’s development.

Original planning permission restricted the club’s usage to rugby only, but utilisation from a variety of local clubs and groups will establish the building as a true community asset.

The ground and building at Crackstone has provided the club with its first permanent home, having previously rented or leased at other clubs, the purpose-built clubhouse has replaced the shipping containers previously used for changing with alfresco showers.

It was designed by Matthew Austin, architect and director of Austin Design Works who, as a former club captain, was delighted to have the opportunity to get involved.

Matthew was mindful of cost and yet rather than a bland interior, the building is quirky, tasteful and light-filled.

Members of the club pulled together to raise funds and apply for grants; harnessing an amazing volunteer effort to build, fit and decorate the building.

Now housing a large club space, changing rooms, toilets and bar with future phases will see the addition of space for storage, further changing rooms and additional fit out.

Club members have been very complimentary and are justly proud of their building.

Additionally junior membership has grown extensively in recent years and now boasts over 300 registered players.

Coaching standards are high and the club is delighted that some of these players have drawn the attention of Gloucester Rugby Club and the England national team.

Minchinhampton clubhouse has already won a Council for the Protection of Rural England, CPRE, award and was shortlisted in the Sustainable Timber Awards.

Matthew himself was awarded a Mitsubishi Award for Volunteer of the Year in conjunction with England Rugby for his commitment.