Ipswich: Sports club looks to kick off future

One of the town’s best-known sports clubs is looking to the future in a bid to develop its facilities.

Ransomes Sport Club, based in Sidegate Lane, is hoping to link up with the Ipswich Town Community Trust and to get funding from the Football Foundation.

But before it can do that it has a crucial meeting with landlord Ipswich Borough Council on Tuesday – and senior officials hope to get backing for the proposal.

The borough took over the sports ground from Ransomes in the mid 1990s – and there was a covenant that the existing club should continue to run the ground for 15 years. That ran out last year.

Now a new management structure has been set up, headed by accountant Chris Smith, who is the new president, and Jim Haddow, who is now treasurer.

Mr Haddow said: “There is quite a bit that needs to be done but that is a vital facility for local people and members – there are about 500 members of the sports and social club.

“We hope to get support from the borough to go ahead with these proposals although we are not sure what its attitude will be.

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“This is a very positive proposal and we will be looking at other sources of funding. The clubhouse does need quite a lot of money spent on it.”

There are 11 acres of sports pitches with several football fields – the club also manages sports pitches at neighbouring Sidegate and St John’s primary schools.

Mr Haddow said it also hoped to be able to attract Suffolk County Cricket Club which was based at Ransomes until it moved to Bury St Edmunds.

He said: “We have a very good pitch and if we manage to improve the clubhouse facilities we would certainly like to see it back in the county town.”

Are you a club member at Ransomes? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.