A £1.25million sports and community hub in Rhyl has been given the go-ahead.
Rhyl Rugby Club has been granted planning permission to build a clubhouse with private function rooms, bars, meeting facilities, a gymnasium, a kitchen and changing rooms as well as rugby pitches, floodlighting and car parking at Tynewydd Road playing fields.
A 25-year interim lease and a full 125-year lease will be provided by Denbighshire Council.
The club aims to fund the development by selling its Waen ground near St Asaph, where it currently plays home games, and its social club on Vale Road.
Richard Greenwood, a former England international rugby player, who is spearheading the project, said: “We have been granted an immediate 25-year agreement so we can begin looking at groundworks, drainage, security and electricity. We have been magnificently supported by Rhyl Town Council and Denbighshire County Council.
“We are very excited at the prospect of bringing 20 community groups from the rugby club to the new site, along with important developments from Communities First, who we have been working with, and we will be working with CAIS to create a drop-in centre with training and instructional courses.
“This will be a community facility in a location that isn’t very well served - the big focus for us all on this project is the reduction of poverty, improvement of job prospects and the health and well-being of our younger residents.”
The club has been trying to acquire the Tynewydd Road site since 1999 but their hopes of agreeing a lease were dashed in 2008 when Denbighshire Council, who own the seven-acre site, considered building a new school there.
The scheme is being backed by Communities First, the Welsh Government’s anti-poverty programme for deprived areas, and funding is being sought from the Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme, WREN, Sport Wales, Welsh Rugby Union and the Gwynt y Mor offshore windfarm community fund.
Mayor of Rhyl, councillor Barry Mellor, said: “This is great news.
"The club has worked so hard for it and now it is time to bring these plans to fruition.
"This will be a community centre so it’s going to be fantastic for the whole community - the sooner we see spades in the ground the better.”