A rugby club in the Borders have completed phase one of a major facilities overhaul that will see their grounds and clubhouse move to an all-encompassing venue.
Duns Rugby Club in Berwickshire have, up until this season, played at Hardens Field which is over a mile away from the town centre and their clubhouse.
Since securing £50,000 of Scottish Rugby Cashback for Communities facilities funding from the government, the RBS East Regional League Division 1 side have begun moving their facilities to a new base at the old Berwickshire High School in a drive to bring the clubhouse, changing rooms and pitches together for the first time.
Phase one, funded by the government money, has seen the club complete their new playing and training pitches, the basics of which were left when the old school building closed in 2009.
Michael Reed, from Duns Rugby Club and project manager of the move, said: “Duns’ clubhouse, training pitches, and main pitch were spread out across and out-with the town. This made it a huge challenge to get all club members, especially the minis and colts, to training and games easily.
“This would always limit our club's growth as we could never reach our true potential with the previous setup. Once we secured the CashBack for Communities funding we were able to progress and other groups have now shown support to our cause.”
The club have been able to secure a further £150,000 from the Roberson Trust, The Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund, and Scottish Rugby plus other trust groups.
Reed continued: “We have used the funds to buy part of the now unused old Berwickshire High School, notably the gym hall to use as a clubhouse alongside the newly acquired pitches.”
Duns’ first home match in season 2013/14 will be against North Berwick on Saturday 14 September (kick-off 3pm).
The Scottish Rugby Cashback for Communities fund, which totalled £1.25 million, has been used to help develop the facilities of 31 Scottish rugby clubs.
The money is retrieved from the ill-gotten gains of crime and reinvested into community programmes, facilities, and activities, focusing on young people at risk of turning crime and anti-social behaviour into a way of life.
Also in the east of Scotland, Kirkcaldy have just completed an upgrade of their floodlights at Beveridge Park using a further £50,000 of CashBack for Communities funding, alongside a further £20,000 of funding which the club secured from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Fife Environmental Trust.