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Bees to groundshare with Solihull Moors


By The Bee Hive
November 9 2007

Pertemps Bees will today announce a groundsharing agreement with Blue Square North football club Solihull Moors - and, in doing so, their imminent departure from their traditional home at Sharmans Cross Road. The National One outfit have agreed to move into the Moors' Damson Park ground and they could play their first game there as early as March. Bees have pencilled in the high-profile visit of First Division leaders Northampton Saints as their curtain-raiser and do not expect to return to Sharmans Cross after that, thereby ending their residency at a site that has become completely outdated for the purposes of professional rugby. Sharmans Cross will be put up for sale as soon as planning permission can be obtained and the proceeds will be put into improving the facilities at Damson Park, where Bees have already promised to erect their 1,000-seat stand opposite the existing clubhouse. Bees will make an initial payment to the football club and then pay a nominal rent to the holding company that owns Damson Park. They hope the move will enable them to attract more supporters and sufficient corporate business with which they can build a team capable of competing with the best in rugby's second tier. Currently, they have one of the smallest budgets in the division and sit bottom of the table, with just one win all season. The agreement marks an end to a long search and a frustrating period for Birmingham & Solihull, whose improvements on the pitch have not been mirrored off it.  As picturesque as Sharmans Cross may be, poor access, a lack of parking, inadequate lighting and no room for expansion make the ground something of an anachronism in modern sport. The club have been looking for a new home for several years and, a couple of years ago, almost moved in with Solihull Borough, before the club merged with Moor Green, only for talks to break down at an advanced stage. But, this time, both partners feel the timing is right and with a new board of directors in place, Solihull Moors are much more positive about sharing their home. Although the deal has not yet been finalised, it is understood to be close to completion and both partners are hoping the venue will benefit everyone across the borough, including community programmes and local schools. Bees' director Kieran Leahy said: "Ground-sharing between clubs is increasingly more common and the partnership with Solihull Moors is a perfect fit for the aspirations of both clubs"

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