Rugby clubs across Scotland will benefit from a series of new full-sized IRB compliant 3G pitches.
In Aberdeen today, Scottish Government justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, revealed the names of six towns and cities that would benefit from a second injection of CashBack for Pitches money, funds that have been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Back in December, at Currie Rugby Club in Edinburgh, funding for five pitches was announced and today sees a further six projects awarded funding from the pot of £3.15million that was set aside for this purpose.
Aberdeen (Aberdeen Sports Village), Troon (Troon Community Sports Hub at Marr College), Cumnock (Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise at Townhead Park), Dundee (Craigie Community Sports Hub at Craigie High School), Paisley (Castlehead High School) and Linlithgow (Linlithgow Leisure Centre) are the towns that will benefit from this funding.
All of these locations have local rugby clubs, with senior and youth teams, who will be able to access and make full use of these facilities.
Scottish Rugby’s vice-president, Ian Rankin, said: “I have seen first hand the difference these all-weather pitches make across Scotland and today’s announcement comes from the hard work of all the partners involved, it has been a pleasure working with the SFA to help roll out these projects.
Thank you very much to the Scottish Government for their huge contribution. I look forward to seeing the benefits this announcement will have to young rugby players across Scotland.”
Scottish Rugby’s partnerships project manager, Neil Carrie, welcomed the announcement in Aberdeen. He said: “This investment into artificial dual-use pitches will be of significant benefit to our young rugby players for a number of reasons.
“It will provide clubs and schools with a wet-weather option to ensure sessions and matches can go ahead, which has been a long-standing issue in Aberdeen particularly.
“I’m delighted to be here today with representatives from Scottish Rugby to hear about the boost that this announcement will give our three member clubs in the city, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen Grammar Rugby and Aberdeen Wanderers.
“It also enables us to provide a quality surface which performs consistently, and enables young players to improve core and position-specific skills. Most important of all it provides much needed pitch capacity where we can deliver positive activities for young people year-round.”
Present at the announcement in Aberdeen today were representatives from Scottish Rugby's three member clubs in the north city, Aberdeen Grammar, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen Wanderers. Aberdeenshire fixture secretary, Alasdair Farquharson, welcomed the announcement. He said:
The 3G pitch that will be built in Aberdeen will be of huge benefit, for children and adults alike and for all the rugby clubs in the city during the winter months when the snow and frost hits. It will be a great facility and it is an absolute godsend. We will work closely with Wanderers and Grammar to ensure we can get the best use from the pitch."
The pot for this project is made up of £2 million from the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, coupled with £1 million from sportscotland and £150,000 from WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK.
Justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, said: “This is a momentous year for sport in Scotland and the Commonwealth Games is providing young people across the country with the perfect inspiration for getting into sport.
“CashBack for Communities seizes money from some of the very worst of society and can provide those who have struggled at the start of their lives with fantastic personal and sporting opportunities.
3G pitches can be used by every section of the community, young and old, however young people are very much our focus for this latest investment.
“This scheme, introduced by this Government in 2007, has already invested or committed £74 million for projects and initiatives right across the country. This additional money will take the number of 3G pitches funded since 2007 to 77."