AN East Lancashire rugby club is set to go ahead with a major upgrade to its ground next year.

Blackburn Rugby Club has been granted planning for a £100,000 plus extension to its clubhouse.

The improvement to the premises at its Ramsgreave Drive ground aims to increase its revenue on matchdays to secure the club’s financial future.

It includes a much-enhanced main entrance and new first floor viewing area.

The scheme has been permitted by Blackburn with Darwen Council with four conditions.

Club secretary Paul Westhead said: "We are very pleased that our proposal was dealt with by officers so swiftly and successfully.

"We will do some internal work during the season but the main works will be undertaken next year.

"The club is investing more than £100,000 in the project which includes a new kitchen and improvements to the changing rooms and showers."

A report by planning officer Christian Barton approving the scheme says: "This application involves the erection of a single-storey extension with integral stairwell accessing a roof terrace.

"A porch and seating area would be formed internally with the roof terrace providing a viewing platform for games.

"The site has a specific use and the existing pavilion is a standalone aspect architecturally.

"The scale of the extension proposed would appear modest when related to the scale of the existing building.

"Moreover, the form, appearance and external construction materials proposed would be acceptable.

"The proposals would not intensify usage of the site to the point that would be harmful to the immediate neighbours.

"Owing to ample separation, the massing of the proposed extension would not appear overbearing.

"The limited scale of the proposals would not increase the capacity to a point that would require additional car parking provision.

"Ample land is also available within the site in order to effectively manage the logistics of the construction phase."

A design and access statement submitted with the application says: “The proposal is driven by the commercial requirement to provide additional space in order to generate income through matches and associated events in order to sustain the club.

“The proposal also seeks to create an upgraded entrance feature to the club and uplift the external aesthetic.

“This proposal will create additional function space and access to the building.”