VOLUNTEERS helped give a Darlington rugby ground a spruce-up as it prepares for the start of the new season and gets ready to welcome new tenants.

Negotiations are ongoing between Darlington FC about a potential move to Darlington Rugby Club's ground at Blackwell Meadows.

For now, the rugby club is preparing for the start of the new season and dozens of volunteers helped out with refurbishment work at the ground on Saturday (August 16).

The changing rooms were painted and landscaping work was carried out, along with pressure washing of the car park and other maintenance.

Michael Stowe, the rugby club's commercial director, said: "There was about 20 volunteers that were here from 9am to 4pm and others who gave whatever time they could, so it was great.

"We had people from across the club, from supporters to players and from our mini teams to the archery club getting involved.

"It was great, it was a really positive day and shows that the efforts we are making to create a community atmosphere around the club are paying dividends."

Asked about the continuing efforts to bring Quakers to Blackwell, Mr Stowe added: "All the parties are still talking, but we only get one shot at this and we want to make sure we have got every angle covered.

"We want to get it right first time."