Blaydon Rugby Football Club is a multi-faceted club based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which offers a variety of activities and memberships for all ages. It also now provides a modern outdoor space, a café, and sports bar alongside its function room, conference facilities, and meeting rooms. However, this was not always the case.


Historically, like many rugby clubs, the club’s main supplementary income came from providing function rooms, predominantly at weekends only, to offer a space and catering for events such as weddings. However, as with all hospitality businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the club had to temporarily close this part of its business. When it was announced that hospitality could once again re-open, the club took the opportunity to review its hospitality offering, as the club’s Chairman of House and Operations Manager, Phil Gardiner explains:

“Once the government announced hospitality could re-open, but using outside space only, we knew that we had to reassess our business as we weren’t making the most of our premises. Our 12ft-by-12ft outside area greatly limited the number of people we could cater for and we also needed to remodel our premises and create an outdoor bar to attract new clientele. So we took the opportunity to review our business model and create a long term, future proof plan to diversify our hospitality offering.”

The solution

The club decided a modern, low maintenance, raised seating area would enable it to develop its café and sports bar enterprise, so it approached local company, A1 Decking, a DekBoard Authorised Installer, and tasked it with creating a solution that would answer these needs. A1 Decking is based in the Northeast of England, has multiple teams of highly experienced and friendly installers and prides itself on treating every deck as if it was its own. The team at A1 Decking took the time to understand the club’s requirements, before designing and implementing the ideal decking system.

The result is a large 50ft by 24ft raised decked area, which was produced using products from leading manufacturer DekBoard.

DekBoard designs and manufactures high quality PVC decking boards, and these slip-resistant, low maintenance, robust, and 100 percent recyclable boards were the perfect choice for Blaydon Rugby Club, both in terms of safety and style. The club chose DekBoard’s standard Maple toned deck board which has a traditional wood grain effect and has resulted in a modern, yet timeless finish.

The decking has been completed with white balustrades, to compliment other balustrades on the club house building, and a practical wheelchair ramp to enable easy access for everyone.

The decking was installed over the Easter weekend holiday, taking three days to complete, and was ready for the re-opening of hospitality businesses on the 12th April 2021.

Pictured from left to right – Gary Costello (A1 Decking), Rob Collins (DekBoard), Naomi Grierson (DekBoard) and Bruce Costello (A1 Decking)

The results

The installation of the new decked area by A1 Decking Solutions has not only enabled Blaydon Rugby Club to expand its café and bar, but it has kick started a new era for the club, as Phil concludes:

“The new decking was only the start of our journey. The expansion of our café and bar showed us that diversification and growth was possible and is, in fact, essential to the continued development of rugby at Blaydon RFC and the success of our club. Our location at the start of the Derwent Walk is also a huge advantage which we needed to capitalise on.

“A remodelling of our club house has ensured that we more effectively utilise every spare inch of space, whilst researching potential business opportunities has helped us to identify the various ways we could diversify. The result is an all-day café service, conference, function and meeting rooms, a modern outdoor space, and a sports bar with 11 televisions and a large projector for big events.

“We have gone from only being able to host functions on weekends, to utilising our club seven days a week, providing a social hub for the local community, whilst increasing our revenue opportunities and protecting the future of rugby at our club.”

To find out if a new decked area can transform your business, visit or call 01724 848500.