WEST Hartlepool have moved a major step forward to building a new clubhouse.
The North One East team have formally announced plans for a top-class facility on their Brinkburn ground, backed by local company Niramax.
West have played on the fields of Hartlepool Sixth Form College for the last 12 years and are looking to develop land on their current carpark into a clubhouse with tenders being invited this month.
Niramax Group Ltd have come on board as the main sponsor for the project.
West are applying for formal planning permission for a new clubhouse, which will include six full-size dressing rooms, a 200-seat community and function room, a community fitness room and a club bar.
Club Chairman Peter Olsen said: “The club has existed for the past seven years with just four small dressing rooms which were originally built for girls hockey, and with portable buildings for our social side.
“Niramax’s backing means we can hopefully now go on to build a proper rugby clubhouse which will enable us to build a bright new future at Brinkburn.”
As well as the rugby club, sports like hockey and football, plus students from the neighbouring Catcote School will benefit from the new facilities.
Niramax Group Ltd managing director Frank Antropik said: “West play a very important role in our community.
“We are delighted to be able to help them realise the potential of the site, both for sport and for a whole host of other groups who will be able to take advantage of the community facilities.”
West have been without a permanent club building since their famous Brierton Lane ground was sold for housing in 1999.
The Premier League club spent a season each at Victoria Park and the Friarage before moving to the Sixth Form College in the autumn of 2000.
Initially, they used the Youth Centre as a temporary facility for pre and post-match hospitality before moving to the old pavilion on the Catcote Road part of the site.
West added portable buildings to use as their base on training nights and weekends but this development represents a significant step forward for the club.
Niramax have pledged a six-figure sum through the landfill tax generated by its operations which is administered by the Mondegreen Environmental Body Ltd, on behalf of the Landfill Communities Trust.