AGP hits Major Milestone

Date: 12 October 2016

This week has seen work on the AGP hit a major milestone with completion of the base on which the rest of the AGP sits. The particular relevance of this is that it is the end of one of the most weather dependent phases of construction and the relatively good weather we have enjoyed in September and early October has helped.

The intention is during the rest of this week to lay the drains which run across the pitch into this base. They in turn drain into a larger drain running along the grandstand side of the pitch and hence into the existing drainage system which runs to the north (Motorway end) of our site.

The work to date has not been without its difficulties. Initial surveys had shown 200mm of top soil would need removing to get down to clay but in fact it was nearer 400mm that had to be removed. Inevitably this led to delay and additional cost but this is borne by the RFU and not the club.

Approximately half the top soil has been taken off site but we have kept two spoil heaps behind pitch 2 east dead ball line and on the car park mound. These will be used by the club at a later date.

There was also a design change to the base which has been stabilised using lime and cement mixed with the soil. The next stage of construction after the drainage is the importation of a stone sub-base to create a layer through which water will percolate into the drains. On top of goes a blinding layer then the shock pad and then finally the AGP carpet will follow. For more detail on the construction please open this link. Laying of the latter which takes around 3 days is the other major weather dependent phase. We remain hopeful that the 1st XV game against Sale on 10 December will see the first use of the AGP but it is a tight deadline.

Negotiations continue with the RFU as to the detail of how the AGP will be operated and the first meeting of the Local Rugby Partnership (LRP) was held this week. The LRP is to be run by the RFU and will make the AGP available to local clubs at preferential rates with Hoppers benefiting from bar and catering revenue.

Looking forward we are starting to think of a number of launch events. The RFU will want their own official launch in which we will be very much involved but it is hoped to run a number of other launch days. The aim being to get as many people into the club both for launch events and to make return visits. Any ideas for such events or volunteers to assist would be gratefully received. Just email ring 01772 863546 or speak to one of the Management Committee in the bar (and buy them a pint!).

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