Under varied names but in the borough since the 1950s, Greenwood Osterley Archers have been in Isleworth since 1973. First at the Conquest Club and since 2002 subletting space from Grasshoppers RFC at Macfarlane Lane, the former United Biscuits sports ground owned by Hounslow Council since 1992.
There was a council cabinet decision in March 2016 to sell the UB sports ground, part to the Education Funding Agency for another free school and the rest to BSkyB raising £3.7m. In addition to that amount, cabinet also agreed to borrow a further £6m to build and relocate Grasshoppers RFC to a brand new facility on the northern part of the Conquest Club, next to the proposed Nishkam Free School.
Concerned that these changes would render it homeless, I accepted an invitation to the archery club at one of its Saturday morning shoots to discuss securing is medium and long term future and later arranged a meeting with the leader of the council, Councillor Steve Curran.
We met at the Indian Gymkhana last night to discuss a way forward and Steve Curran confirmed that Grasshoppers RFC should allow the GOA should stay at Macfarlane Lane until their move. It was also agreed that the council would work to find an alternative permanent site for the archers within the borough and this would include examining how GOA could be incorporated within the proposed new free school and BSkyB development.
Further information about Greenwood Osterley Archers may be found here and about Grasshoppers RFC here.