Financial & Legal News

Land purchased for Leigh RUFC

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A North West rugby club now owns land following 60 years as leaseholders - the club is now proud owner of extensive land and property after being assisted by Pearson Commercial Property Solicitor, Michael Pitt.

“As a young solicitor, I worked with the Trustees of Leigh RUFC to assist them in the potential purchase of their rugby playing fields. They had been leasing the land for 30 years or so and after much negotiation, it proved that the land owners were not willing to sell, so instead the Club took a 66 year lease with a 33 year break clause.” said Michael.

Land Purchase

The club wanted to purchase the land as the break clause in their lease was exercised by the landowner, however, the new proposed lease offered by the landowner was at a much higher rent.

“In 2016 the club was approached to sell a separate training ground to a developer and after planning consent and again much negotiation, the club acquired a new training and playing facility adjacent to their leased pitches, as well as a cash sum.”

“When the freeholder gave the club notice to break the lease at the 33 year point negotiations commenced in relation to a new lease, but additionally the money the club now had gave them the ability to open negotiations to purchase the freehold to their main pitches and other facilities, which was obviously the end result,” explains Michael Pitt.

What is a Break Clause in a Lease?

A commercial property lease usually continues until its end date unless it includes a break clause in the lease allowing the landlord, tenant or both to end a lease early, with notice and without a penalty. The break clause is a contractual provision subject to certain conditions set out in the commercial lease.

Commercial Tenant to Land Owner

Following months of negotiations, the club has been able to purchase the car park, an all-weather area, a bowling green and two established playing areas. Leigh RUFC went from owning no playing areas for over 35 years to being the proud owners of around 20 acres in the Pennington area.

Leigh RUFC, Club Chairman Tony Trumble adds:

“The lack of land ownership and lease conditions has prevented the club from moving forward. This purchase is a huge development in the history of Leigh RUFC and will be the catalyst that will allow us to achieve our future ambitions.

The complexities of buying the land have been long and fraught, with many obstacles needing to be overcome. However, with the help and guidance of our legal & surveyor teams, Michael Pitt and Andrew Taylorson, we have reached our goal.”

“I am so pleased to see Leigh RUFC with a permanent home to call their own after many years of working with them,” adds Michael.

“Pearson Solicitors helped secure the long term future of the club and they now have the ability to seek funding to build a new clubhouse on the freehold site. It just goes to show the old adage of perseverance pays off as this was a 42 year deal.”

How can we help?

For legal advice on buying or selling a commercial property or land contact our experienced commercial property solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Image: Photo of Leigh RUFC Ltd

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Michael Pitt


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