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Working Together: how a unique new Clubhouse was born

Posted on June 21st, 2018

Marlow Sports Club and Heighway Associate Architects

Working together for the community

Marlow Sports Club (MSC) is a fantastic community facility right in the heart of town. It promotes sport and recreation for everyone of all ages and offers a diverse range of sports including: Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis, Running, Cycling and Petanque.

Added to this, our facility is also shared by Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School for the purpose of school sports.

There has been an incredible growth in membership in the last 10 years from 500 to over 2500 members with particular growth from junior and female members. Whilst new and improved sporting facilities have been added to the grounds, the array of facilities for socialising, showering and toilet facilities and storage has not seen a significant change since the most recent pavilion was added over 40 years ago.

And at that time the membership was predominantly adult male. The facilities therefore continue to reflect that. And are now totally inadequate for even the current membership profile, never mind the growing and future needs of the Club.

Developing the grounds

Having implemented many of the objectives of the first phase of the project to secure the land and existing facilities the MSC Trustees were looking for a local partner to work with them to develop a proposal for a new Clubhouse which met current and future needs of the Club. The Club felt that a partner from the local community would be in line with its overall objectives.

At that time the Sports Club, in line with its community participation, had joined the Chamber of Commerce. Heighway Associate Architects (HAA), an award-winning creative and successful buildings and spaces organisation, was also a member of the Chamber.

As Paul Sambrook, then Chairman of the Sports Club said:

“Finding the right Architect to partner us was very important. After talking with several Practices we settled on Heighway Associates. We have worked together for over 2 years and are delighted with their enthusiasm, environmental values, sharing of our Community orientation and their creativity”

The two teams developed the brief for a multi-sport Clubhouse with input from the different sports sections looking to the immediate needs and also looking to the future.

A planning application was submitted to the local council. After several months of dialogue the Planning Committee gave consent and planning permission was obtained in April 2018.

Working together as partners in the Chamber has been very beneficial to this project. The design and approach of the new Clubhouse was presented to the full Chamber membership during the development process at a monthly meeting and feedback incorporated into the project.

Both partners now look forward to the next stages of the project.

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