Preston Grasshoppers invests in pioneering artificial pitch

Law firm Harrison Drury has advised on a landmark property deal that will see Preston Grasshoppers RFC benefit from a £50m national initiative to grow participation in rugby.

Preston Grasshoppers’ own deal with the RFU will see the area containing the pitch leased to the RFU, who will fund the new state-of-the-art surface, while allowing the club to reserve use of the pitch when they need it.

John Chesworth, managing director of Harrison Drury and a former first team player at Preston Grasshoppers, said: “During the last few very wet winters there have been times when the pitch has been out of use for weeks at a time with games postponed and training sessions cancelled due to fears over damaging the grass.

Richard Ellis, general manager at Preston Grasshoppers, commented on the RFU’s investment. He said: “Grasshoppers is one of the oldest clubs in the country and has produced players that have gone on to secure international honours and win world cups.

“In addition to increasing participation in the game it will also mean that match cancellations will significantly reduce, which in turn helps us to welcome more spectators to Hoppers and boosting our income. This will then get reinvested in the club contributing to our aspirations of playing in a higher league.” Andrew Taylorson, a director of Lancashire-based commercial property consultants Eckersley, also provided advice to Preston Grasshoppers in its dealings with the RFU.

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