Rhinos counting £1m cost of Leeds flood damage

Gary Hetherington
Gary Hetherington
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Leeds estimate the cost of flood damage to their training base could be as much as £1million.

The Super League champions, along with sister rugby union team Yorkshire Carnegie, are using alternative facilities across the city after being forced from their Kirkstall base due to heavy flooding that began on Boxing Day and caused havoc to the area.

Because the training base was insured, Leeds will not be presented with a hefty bill but chief executive Gary Hetherington says it could be months before they are able to return and he fears they could experience difficulty re-insuring the premises.

“All the pitches are contaminated so effectively need to be dug up and replaced and the all-weather pitch is damaged beyond repair,” Hetherington said.

“Training and medical equipment was ruined and, because there was four feet of water on the ground floor, the floors needed to be replaced and the wall re-plastered.

“It’s looking at £1million to re-instate it all but most of it is insured so we are protected in that regard but re-insurance will be an issue. A lot of industries in that area cannot get insurance.”

Around 80 staff are usually employed at the training base, including 40 from the Leeds Foundation, while 120 players regularly used the facilities.

Hetherington says he hopes the club will be able to get back into the first-floor offices at the base in May and, in the meantime, the Rhinos are training at various clubs, including Stanningley, and Yorkshire Carnegie have de-camped to West Park Bramhope.