A BRAND new training facility at Royal Wootton Bassett rugby club will help provide a holistic approach to sports coaching and injury treatment, according to chairman Chris Elias.

The facility – which is planned to be officially opened towards the end of April or in early May – will boast an enlarged area for weight and aerobic training, an indoor sprint track and an area for indoor scrummaging.

In addition, it will also be able to accommodate personal trainers with plans already in place to convert the existing building – which will be interlinked – into office space.

With membership numbers at the club hitting 900 – approximately eight per cent of the town’s entire population – Elias admits he is excited by developments.

He said: “What we want to do is make sure we have the best community facility we possibly can have.

“This facility will help with all age groups right through the club, and hopefully allow us to develop a stronger senior side in the future as well.

“That would be as a result of offering the right strength and conditioning and associated development strategies for them.

“It’s going to be a tremendous facility for residents to use, and we’ll be looking to make it available for external use as well.”

Grants and fundraising efforts have helped make the development possible, with the total cost estimated to be in the region of £500,000.

The club has also benefitted from the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) tax credit scheme, which enables operators of landfill sites in England to contribute money to organisations.

Richard Crapper – of Crapper and Sons Landfill Ltd in Brinkworth – have used the scheme to help fund the development.

Elias added: “We’ve done an awful lot of fundraising throughout the club, that’s through our seniors and juniors.

“Luckily, we secured a grant through the science park at Wroughton with Wiltshire Community Foundation.

“But our main source of funding has come through the support of Richard (Crapper) and the LCF – he’s been brilliant with his support for the club.”

With Bassett sitting fifth in South West One East and chasing a play-off spot with six games remaining, Elias underlined the club’s philosophy to develop home-grown players amid their push for promotion into the south-west’s top tier.

He said: “We are conscious that the league above us (South West Premier) is a professional league.

“Other clubs will go out and buy players in. What we want to do is adopt an organic approach.

“If we can develop our youngsters through having better facilities for them to train in, we have a much better chance of being promoted but retaining our amateur status.

“We want to be an amateur community club.”