A bright opportunity for community clubs
The RFL have formed an exciting partnership with Shared Access – a telecoms infrastructure company – in a £30m programme to provide funding opportunities for clubs across England.
This new funding opportunity takes two forms – one for clubs that currently do not have a mobile operator on site, and one for those who do.
For those clubs that don’t have an operator on site, Shared Access offer to market these clubs locations to mobile operators as potential locations. If selected, Rugby clubs will receive a large capital investment, typically in the form of new or improved floodlighting or similar facilities. Shared Access then extend the broadband and mobile phone coverage to the local community through state-of-the-art wireless technology housed on floodlight columns.
For clubs that do already have a mobile operator on site, Shared Access provide the opportunity for non-refundable cash payments in exchange for certain rights surrounding the existing mast. Clubs can sign up in the same fashion, but instead of just receiving new operators (although all clubs are encouraged to sign up to both funding programmes) clubs can receive a non-refundable cash sum in exchange for granting rights to future potential rental payments, thus Shared Access assume the risk instead of the club, that mobile operators might terminate their contract and leave site and stop paying the club rent, or want it reduced.
This joint initiative will benefit hundreds of clubs and at the same time open up new telecommunication channels in city, urban and rural communities throughout England.
“The partnership represents a great opportunity for community clubs to access new investment,” said David Gent, RFL Director of Participation and Strategic Partnerships.
“Accessing funds to help improve floodlighting and facilities can only be beneficial to clubs. Many of them play a vital role in their local communities so any improvements to their facilities will undoubtedly have a wider impact.”
Chris Jackman, CEO of Shared Access added: “This initiative will bring immense benefits to telecoms providers and at the same time, to local Rugby League clubs.”
“We will be investing up to £30m in providing world class telecommunications infrastructure and make sites available to all telecoms operators to enable the provision of advanced broadband and mobile communications.”
For more information or to register your interest in the Shared Access partnership contact Carol Doran, RFL Facilities Manager via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org