Friday, June 10, 2011

News: Titans to try Millmoor again


At the same Cabinet meeting where a £5m loan was provisionally approved to support Rotherham United's new community stadium, members also agreed to move forward with plans to make Millmoor the new home of the town's rugby club, the Rotherham Titans.

Cabinet agreed that officers should negotiate and conclude leases of Millmoor Stadium, the former home of Rotherham United, that would enable Rotherham Rugby Union Football Club to take an underlease of the stadium.

The Council are set to negotiate appropriate terms and conditions with the club and with the owners of the site, CF Booth Ltd, operators of one of the largest scrapyards in Europe next door.

The Titans announced their intention to move to a new ground in March and they played home games at Millmoor during their season in the top flight of English rugby in 2003/2004.

Nick Cragg, chairman of Rotherham Titans, said: "The negotiations on Millmoor are at an advanced stage and we hope that they can be successfully concluded.

"I must stress that whilst there is a desire on behalf of the owners of Millmoor, Rotherham MBC, and Rotherham Rugby Club to reach agreement there is a considerable amount of detailed work still to be completed.

"We are very grateful to the Booth family and to Rotherham MBC for their support to date."

In May, the club appointed local business personalities, Rob Hannon and John Lewis as joint Chief Executives after the departure of Spencer Fearn. At the time John Lewis said: "I've been in Rotherham for 18 years, initially working for the Training & Enterprise Council, which then became the Chamber of Commerce. I then became the Chief executive when the chamber became an independent body.

"The board has charged us with generating new money into the club. Its a real challenge, but the journey that we are all on is about a commercially viable sustainable club, which can reach and maintain Premiership status."

It is envisaged that rugby club will make the majority contribution to the rental liability and that the Council will take on the car parking area to generate further income.

The report states that financial risks are to be mitigated through complementary annual break clauses in both the lease and underlease.

The Titans ambitious plan is to develop the ground as a leading stand-alone rugby venue including refurbishing the Tivoli suite and the removal of seats from the Millmoor Lane side of the ground to eventually complete the new main stand.

The amateur section of the club are also working with the council on proposals for new rugby facilities on the Herringthorpe playing fields.

Rotherham Titans website



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