Belfast Telegraph

Ards rugby club to redevelop grounds with social enterprise fund loan

Ards Rugby Club has received a major cash injection from a social enterprise fund which will pay for major redevelopment plans.

The loan from Ulster Community Investment Trust will be used to redevelop the club grounds on Lansdowne Road in Newtownards, including a new clubhouse facility, a 4G pitch and better car parking.

The club has 120 senior members, 30 youth members, 120 'mini' members and is supported by 100 non-playing members

Club president Neil Workman said funding for the club was limited. "Our only sources of income are through player subscriptions, fundraising and money from the bar. We received a recommendation from the Ulster branch of the IRFU that UCIT might be able to assist our future plans.

"They have been incredibly supportive of the club and recognise the impact it has on the local community."

Harry McDaid, chief executive, UCIT, said: "The club has a proud history and strong membership. It has a vibrant youth section with many children getting involved from a very young age. In common with the development of the game, it also fields a ladies team, so it caters for a wide range of sporting and social needs."

UCIT makes loans to community and social enterprise businesses across Ireland.

As a registered charity, all profits generated by it are retained and recycled for the benefit of its clients.

Belfast Telegraph