VIDEO: Council reveals ‘exciting plans’ for Rugby World Cup 2015

A ‘fan zone’, giant screen and colourful bunting are just some of things the borough will be able to enjoy during the Rugby World Cup.

With the countdown to next year’s tournament underway, Rugby Borough Council has revealed how it intends to celebrate the event in the birthplace of the game.

Cllr Heather Timms and Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of the council

Cllr Heather Timms and Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of the council

A special ‘fan zone’ will be created for the community to get together and watch matches.

The council has earmarked the space adjacent to the John Barford car park, near Castle Street, for the ‘fan zone’ marquee, which will feature a giant screen.

Refreshments will be served on match days and the council believes the area could hold 1,000 people standing.

The ‘fan zone’, which will run for the full seven weeks of the tournament, will be free to enter on match days and ticketed community events will be held on days when no games are being shown.

The Rugby World Cup runs from September 18 to October 11 and matches will be held at stadiums across the country.

Cllr Michael Stokes, leader of the borough council, said it was an excellent opportunity for Rugby.

“I’m really proud that we are the birthplace of the game. We’ve been given unique ‘Proud Home’ status and we really need to capitalise on that,” he said.

“This is a really exciting time and we have lots of plans. There will be a ‘fan zone’ and lots of activities around the World Cup itself but building up the event we will have lots of opportunities for people to get involved.

“We want to make the most of the Rugby World Cup 2015 and build a legacy.

“If we can attract more visitors to the town then they will be spending money here and we hope businesses will get on board and help us make this a great year for Rugby,” he added.

The council will also be looking for volunteers to help welcome visitors and provide assistance on match days.

Further details of the volunteering scheme will be released early next year.

Rugby’s streets will be lined with colourful bunting and banners to promote the ‘Proud Home’ status and official partnership with Rugby World Cup 2015.

Extra floral displays will be put in place to improve the look of the town and make it more inviting for visitors.

Schools will be encouraged to get involved with educational programmes where pupils can learn about Rugby’s history and develop their understanding of the game.

The council has teamed up with Visit England to promote the heritage of the town and encourage international tourists to see what Rugby has to offer.

Cllr Heather Timms, portfolio holder to economy, development and culture, said the tournament would be a very significant moment for the borough.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to welcome visitors to our town and make sure they have a great experience,” she said.

“There will be lots of opportunities for local people to get involved - after all, they come from the birthplace of the game.

“The ‘fan zone’ will be running throughout the whole tournament and live matches will be screened there.

“Hopefully there will also be some cultural events happening there too and schools can get involved with educational programmes and learn about the heritage of Rugby.

“It’s important the we push our status as the birthplace of the games and create a legacy, she added.”

A programme will be available next year detailing the times and dates of events around the borough.