Burton Rugby Football Club have raised nearly £30,000 in just over a fortnight after launching a fundraising campaign.
New home ground, Battlestead Croft, in Tatenhill is currently being constructed.
It is hoped the 34-acre site will be ready in time for the start of the 2021/22 rugby season in September.
As a result, the club was denied the chance to host farewell celebrations to the historical venue.
Plans to mark the 150th anniversary of the club also had to be called off.
Burton were then dealt the news that the 2020/21 non-elite domestic rugby season would not go ahead.
Additionally, temporary buildings currently located on the site have been broken into three times with essential equipment being stolen.
Because of this and the loss in revenue over the past year, the club says it is at risk of not being in the financial position to finish the overall project in time for the new season.
In response, it recently set-up a fundraising initiative called ‘Be Part Of It’.
Cash from the campaign will be put towards the completion of Battlestead Croft which includes the installation of a permanent maintenance building.
President ‘delighted’ with response
The fundraiser has seen a huge response with just over £29,150 donated to the cause to date.
Burton RFC President Ian Cartwright told Sport in Staffs that he was delighted with the traction the initiative has accumulated.
“It’s a fantastic start to the campaign. We are really pleased with the generosity that we are seeing,” he said.
“It’s a lovely situation to think about and see the support that it’s getting.
“It will be great when we can have a big attendance at the new site.”
Perks for donors
There are incentives for donors should they decide to give certain amounts.
Donations of £125 will see their name engraved in brick on a wall just inside the site’s gates.
Meanwhile, donations of £250 will offer the chance to sponsor, and in turn plant, a tree at the newly-created Battlestead Wood.
The wood will grow to overlook the ground for years to come.
Those who donate £1,500 will sponsor a five-seater bench placed in “prime locations” around the numerous pitches at Battlestead Croft.
Donors that give either of the two latter amounts will also be bestowed a plaque.
“We had a long history at our previous site and it’s a chance for people to be part of establishing the history at our new site,” Ian explained.
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“We’re conscious that these are not easy times for everyone and there’s been a long period of impact on everyone’s situation including finances.
“So we’ve not set any particular target but we’re running it for a few weeks longer.
“We are hoping we’ll see that total grow as we keep publicising it and people see the logic behind it and hopefully can support it in some way.”
People can still donate lower amounts if they so wish to, too.
Burton moving forward but not forgetting the past
Burton may be on the brink of a new, exciting chapter but the club is certainly not forgetting its history.
Furthermore, the club will be uniquely celebrating its 151st anniversary after last year’s merriments had to be cancelled.
Ian added: “The strategy behind the move was to become a one-site club and have the kind of facilities that we are seeing grow at the moment.
“We hope to continue our success in terms of providing rugby-playing opportunities and social opportunities and other activities for the town.
“We look forward to welcoming people to it from our own club and visiting clubs.
“Because of Covid and the timing of it, it’s going to be even more significant in that everyone has missed their rugby.
“So, the tension is building up and we’re really excited to move forward.”
Up to 10,000 spectators could be allowed into sports venues in May, should the Government roadmap go to plan.
No rugby events have been chosen as part of the Government’s pilot scheme regarding the return of spectators.
To donate to the ‘Be Part Of It’ initiative, click here.
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