A LONG-serving archery club in Solihull is facing a bleak future after their rent was increased by a whopping 100 per-cent.
The 40-strong Solihull Archers were told by Old Silhillians Rugby Club that they must fork out £1,000 – DOUBLE the price of last year – in order to secure their summer home from April to September.
But the soaring rates are simply too much for the non-profit-making club which meet twice a week and are now desperately seeking a new home for the start of the season next month.
“If we don’t find somewhere soon who knows what could happen,” said chairman and treasurer Kerry Whelan who has been shooting for over 15 years.
“We can’t afford the extortionate sum that the Sils are asking for, and although we’ve always had a good relationship with them it feels like they want us out.”
Old Silhillians general manager Keith Waterhouse said their “hands were tied” and escalating costs have forced the increased hike.
“Costs and ground maintenance have gone up and as a result several sports clubs have had relative rent increases,” he said.
I visited the Archers on Wednesday evening as they continued their winter season at Langley School – a venue that costs £14 an hour to hire out.
And although the archers continued to turn out in force, the mood was subdued with the imminent summer season on the horizon.
“We’ve been everywhere but it’s not looking good,” said member Ian Welch who has been helping Kerry find a new location.
“Some places say it’s safety issues and some are too expensive but wherever we turn it seems a no-go.”
Dedicated archer, Kerry, said they had been to schools, leisure centres, and even farms but nothing had materialised.
There had been an arrangement with a local rugby club but a last-minute increase in rent ruled out the move.
“We’re getting desperate and we know beggers can’t be choosers,” added Kerry.
“We don’t take up much room, we’re not a messy group and we follow all the necessary safety procedures.”
If you can help the club in any way or know a suitable location call Kerry on 07971974689 or visit www.solihullarchers.co.uk.