SCOTTISH BORDERS COUNCIL has given its support to Melrose’s plans to install a new 3G sports pitch at The Greenyards. Work is expected to get underway in July and the facility is due to open in November 2019.
The local authority approved support for the pitch at its Executive meeting on Tuesday 4th June. The report was taken in private due to the ongoing procurement process being discussed.
The project – which is led by Scottish Borders Council [SBC] and Melrose Rugby with support from Scottish Rugby – will now hold a drop-in session at the Greenyards on Tuesday 11th June at 6pm to 8pm to allow local people, sports clubs and community groups to look at the plans in more detail before work begins.
The plans, which include new floodlighting and a spectator walkway, anticipate a considerable increase in sports participation at all levels. Melrose believe that the development will help them in their aim of becoming more community focussed as well as sustaining the club’s long term future.
The club has already carried out consultation with the community and stakeholders such as the Scottish Football Association, charity Live Borders, local schools, sports clubs and traders, who have been supportive of the 3G project.
The Greenyards pitch is owned by the Ormiston Trust, which is made up of the three Leaderdale and Melrose ward Councillors who are part of Scottish Borders Council.
“I am delighted that we have been able to reach a point where we can invest in the next 3G pitch in the Scottish Borders in Melrose,” said Scottish Borders Council’s Convener, David Parker.
“The Council has a proud track record of delivering community synthetic pitches across the Scottish Borders and the Melrose proposal will make a significant difference to sports clubs in the town. It will enhance football and rugby and give many generations of young people access to a first class sporting facility.
“The pitch is owned by the Ormiston Trust, whose sole aim is to make sure that it provides important community facilities for all and this community investment in Melrose will certainly do that. We look forward to the project being delivered.”
Councillor Euan Jardine, SBC’s Executive Member for Culture and Sport, also welcomed the news. “We have been working closely with Melrose Rugby and Scottish Rugby on the Melrose 3G sports pitch project and I am delighted we now have the go-ahead to install a quality all year round playing surface which will be available for the whole community to enjoy,” he said.
Melrose RFC Chairman Gordon Brown added: “Melrose Rugby is delighted at today’s news. This has been a long-standing ambition of the club since the launch of our Legacy project in 2017. The new 3G pitch will allow the club to continue competing at the highest level as well as being an incredible asset that will enable other sporting activities and events.
“The club would like to thank all our support partners in approving this exciting project. It will mark an exciting new chapter for us as we open our doors to the local community and others in the surrounding area. We look forward to welcoming anyone interested in seeing the plans to the Greenyards on 11th June.”