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£25k funding will assist north-east sports project

By Kyle Ritchie

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Methlick Community Council has been awarded £25,000 to help fund a project to build a multi-use games area in the village.

The group received the grant from Sport Scotland's Sport Facilities Fund.

It is aimed to build the new facility, which total cost is £120,000 and will provide a space for people to play football, tennis and basketball.

It will add to other projects in the village, which have included a refurbished football pitch and cricket pitch.

The plans detail that the games area propsed for Methlick could cater for tennis, football and basketball.
The plans detail that the games area propsed for Methlick could cater for tennis, football and basketball.

Following a community council meeting it was decided to progress with the plans and investigate other funding opportunities to make up a £55,000 deficit.

If the group is unsuccessful in receiving funding by June it may have to alter the plans for the facility to allow for its budget.

Community council chairman Stuart Kennedy said: "We want to build the games area at the village's King George Park.

"With the money we have the project has to be started by August this year, so we now have to raise the £55,000 shortfall we have left before then.

"We decided at our meeting to look to fill the funding gap before June. Come then we will then decide if we build the area as we were proposing to do or look at an alternative.

"The one we want to build has a higher quality surface and this increases the cost. We are looking for the area to accommodate tennis, football and basketball.

"With the shortfall we might have to adapt the surface and use a cheaper one, which won't be quite so forgiving and might not be as good for playing football on for example."

The community council has a team working on the project, which is now looking at alternative funding options.

Mr Kennedy added: "With the Covid situation lots of things have been put on hold and it has not allowed us to hold fundraisers.

"From the village's point of view having the games area would be fantastic. The primary school would be able to use the facility and we could look to get a tennis club up and running in the village. It would be something people could use all year round."

The project was first started in 2016 and a public consultation was held to investigate what sports would want to be catered for and what groups would use it. Plans were then formed and the fundraising commenced.

Clubs, communities, and leisure trusts across the country received grants as part of the Sport Scotland £1.25 million total investment.

Priority was given to projects with a focus on increasing participation in sport and physical activity among young people, women and girls, disabled people, as well as deprived or rural communities. It is funded by the National Lottery.

In total, £1,264,750 will be shared between 15 projects across Scotland for clubs and communities, schools and education establishments, or performance sport environments.

Sport Scotland chief executive Stewart Harris said: “The projects receiving funding demonstrate real ambition and commitment to improving the lives of their communities through sport and physical activity. I am delighted that we can support their work through this investment.

"We must say a huge thank you to everyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket. Their contribution means that we are able to help clubs and communities achieve their aim of creating the right facilities to develop sport and physical activity in their local area.”

Throughout the application process, applicants were offered guidance and expertise from Sport Scotland’s facilities team to make the most of the available investment.

Since April 2007, Sport Scotland has invested more than £192 million of Scottish Government and National Lottery funding to help sports clubs, community groups, local authorities, sport’s governing bodies and other organisations deliver new and upgraded sporting facilities across the country.

The next round of applications for the fund opens on April 1. To find out more visit sportscotland.org.uk/funding/sport-facilities-fund

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