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Darlington RFC and Darlington FC groundshare designs revealed
Updated 8:56pm Wednesday 9th July 2014 in News
SPORTING HUB: Artist's impression of the redeveloped Blackwell Meadows ground where Darlington RUFC and Darlington FC will share facilities.
IMAGES of how the redeveloped Blackwell Meadows will look have been released as progress towards the groundshare between Darlington RFC and Darlington FC gathers pace.
The artist's impressions show new terracing behind one goal and a stand with seating along the side of the pitch furthest from the clubhouse.
The images also reveal a redesigned clubhouse with an entrance facing the car park and a glass front overlooking the pitch.
The two clubs said they have made considerable progress on the design and detail of the ground ahead of a planning application being submitted.
Surveys have been completed and discussions are continuing with Darlington Borough Council, club officials said.
The clubs said that they would not know when Darlington FC will be able to play first-team games at Blackwell Meadows until the planning application has been approved.
However, a statement added: "Discussions with the council have gathered pace in recent weeks, with all parties working towards ensuring that the football club will be playing its first-team matches at Blackwell Meadows at the earliest possible opportunity next season."
Although the time-frame for the full groundshare is uncertain, Darlington FC shop Quaker Retail is now based at the Blackwell Road site.
Manager Martin Gray is taking pre-season training sessions at the ground, while youth teams are using the facilities for training and officials are holding meetings and events in the clubhouse.
The clubs said the cost of the redevelopment had not been finalised, with quotes still being obtained from suppliers.
The costs will be split between both clubs with work to ensure the ground meets FA category C grading primarily met by the football club and improvements to the clubhouse mostly paid for by the rugby club.
Officials from both clubs are looking at options for grants, with up to 50 per cent of costs available for some work.
The football club said it hoped to be able to tell fans within the next eight to ten weeks how much extra they would need to raise towards the work.
The clubs said in the statement that they would like to thank everyone who had worked on the project so far.