Over the last few years, the Executive Committee has been in regular discussion with the University of Greenwich, which is the owner of the Well Hall site and our freeholder. The presence of Blackheath Rugby at Well Hall is secured by a Lease Agreement with the University that matures in 2032. The University has a break clause under the terms of the Lease which it could exercise in 2027. There is no guarantee that the University will renew our Lease at the expiry date and it is unlikely that they would do so on the current nominal rental terms. We have therefore been discussing with them the possibility of acquiring the freehold ownership from them. It is important for the long-term future of Blackheath Rugby that we have clarity and certainty over where we will play rugby and this has been our objective in the discussions that have been held with the University.
I am very pleased to inform you that we have finally reached agreement with the University to buy the freehold of the Well Hall site, subject to the approval of our membership. This marks a very important point in the history of Blackheath Rugby and if we are able to raise the necessary funds, we will finally own our own ground for the first time in our 165 year history and, more importantly, we will secure ownership of our ground for future generations of Blackheath Rugby.
In order to move forward, we need to secure the support and approval of the membership to the proposal to buy the freehold of Well Hall. With that in mind, we will organise a Special General Meeting of the membership for Tuesday 18th April, 2023 at 7.30pm. At this meeting a resolution will be proposed to authorise the Executive Committee on behalf of Blackheath Rugby to formally enter into an agreement with the University of Greenwich to buy the freehold of the Well Hall site. We will also set out the terms of the proposed purchase with the University and our ideas for raising the funds required to complete the acquisition. We will be willing to answer any and all questions the membership have and look forward to a full and frank discussion.
Further details will be included in the forthcoming formal announcement of the Special General Meeting by the Honorary Secretary of the Club, Huw Gronow. For now, I would encourage you to put the date of the Special General Meeting into your diaries and ensure that you are able to attend. This is an exciting moment in the history of Blackheath Rugby and we have the opportunity to secure the long-term future of the Club in perpetuity for future generations. It is important that our members give us the support to complete the purchase and I look forward to seeing as many members as possible at the meeting.
Dr. Alan Thompson
Blackheath Football Club