Group of people with banners in front of buulding

Community groups and rugby players who use the club’s facilities welcome others to come and use them.

The completion of an extension to its clubhouse in Forfar has enabled Strathmore Rugby Club to further increase its role as a hub for the community of the Strathmore Valley as well as improve its facilities and inclusivity on the playing side.

The £250,000 two-storey extension to the west side of the clubhouse, which began in July 2022, was supported by grants of £74,000 from SportScotland, £37,500 from the SRU and £30,000 from the Angus Council Common Good Fund alongside fundraising by the club and vital in-kind support from Peter Allison, Jim Laird, club members and local companies including S&D Taylor Haulage, Sime Design, Splash Out Bathrooms and D. Ogilvy Plant Hire.

New spaces

Together they’ve helped create a series of new spaces to be used by the club and the wider community it serves.

To better meet the needs of its rapidly-increasing playing numbers – including three senior teams (two men, one women) as well as more than 180 children and youths in its junior section, the number and capacity of changing rooms has doubled to four – with two which can hold a full team each specifically for the 67 women and girls who play. The changing rooms are also used by the club’s community partners, including Strathmore Community Rugby Trust, Jogforfar and Forfar Parkrun, which starts at the club on Saturday mornings.

Yong women in rugby kit and holding rugby balls in changing room cheering

Female players celebrate getting dedicated changing rooms.

A bespoke Referees’ Room and Injury Treatment/Player Conditioning Room have been created on the ground floor, while on the first floor two state-of-the-art physiotherapy treatment rooms used by club partners Angus Physiotherapy and specialist rehab business CK Intensives have been built.

Multi-purpose space

Women doing pilates in large room

An Angus Physiotherapy pilates class taking place in the new multi-use space.

Next door, a 67-square-metre multi-purpose studio space has been created with flexibility for it to be used for group physical activity, educational events, team discussions or an extra break-out space for hospitality events. It’s available for hire on a short or long-term basis.

Men being lectured in room with large screen behind speaker.

A business training session taking place in the multi-purpose studio space.

This plus an upgrade to The Shark Tank bar, making the first floor wheelchair-accessible and adding a disabled toilet to the Changing Places gold standard, increase the club’s ability to play host to community groups. Bruce Thomson’s Art Class and Andy’s Man Club currently meet in the Main Lounge and have access to the large-screen TV and wifi for group viewing of live events and films or videos. The club can also provide homemade meals include game provided by partner the Angus Glens Moorlands Group – improving nutrition while reducing food miles, carbon emission and supporting local business – while hosting up to 200 guests inside.

Disabled toilet.

The new disabled toilet.

Outside, the club’s car park and adjoining area can become the biggest beer garden in Forfar – licensed to 530 guests served by bars in the Main Lounge, Shark Tank and Marquee as well as The Sin Bin horsebox offering barista coffee. This has enabled it to host outdoor events such as The Strathmore Sessions music festival.

700 a week from community use facilities

Up to 700 people from the local community already use the club’s resources each week and club President, Bob Baldie, hopes the upgrade provided by the extension will see this and the club’s role in aiding health and wellbeing in its community grow substantially.

He said: “The completion of the new extension 20 years since the clubhouse started being built marks the end of our 90th anniversary year and renews our commitment to investing in the club’s future, in particular through women’s rugby, as well as our progression from being a club in the community to a community club and asset.

“Provision of disabled toilets to the Changing Places standard and making the upper floor fully wheelchair-accessible further demonstrate our desire to make the club as accessible and inclusive to all as possible.

“The new physio rooms reinforce our commitment to player conditioning and recovery as well as our excellent working partnership with Angus Physiotherapy.

Support key to success

“We’re very proud to have completed the project despite spiraling material prices, escalating labour costs and the Cost of Living crisis, keeping the workforce local where possible to support local jobs and firms recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

“The key to the project’s success has come from the many generous offers of in-kind support from our club members and the wider community – with donations of time and materials to complete it to the highest standard.

“We’d also like to thank Les Coupar, Andrew Coupar and Simon Jones for the execution and management of the extension build and to all Strathmore RFC members who contributed to the build in the relevant stages – too many to list, but they know who they are.

“This values-based ‘can do’ approach resonates throughout our membership – with significant projects such as pitch floodlighting and a net-zero project also being undertaken and events such as The Strathmore Sessions and the Lochside 10s tournament.

Community role

“During the course of the project we’ve also cemented our relationship with Strathmore Community Rugby Trust and welcomed more organisations into our community hub – reinforcing our role as a community asset. Organisations wanting to demonstrate their support for the local community can do so by becoming a club sponsor. We’d also welcome contact from more groups supporting people in our community wishing to use our facilities.

“Our desire for continued improvement is strong, with its focus now turning to flood defences and the procurement and development of the old canning factory as an indoor sports facility. So the future of the club seems positive and bright!”

For information about how to get involved with Strathmore RFC or use its facilities, go to