THE council has agreed to fund a feasibility study for a 3G pitch at the Volunteer Park, Hawick.
The project, which is being led by the Bill McLaren Foundation through Bill McLaren Park Ltd, failed to attract funding from sportscotland last year due to there being ‘a number of issues to be addressed’.
The council has already earmarked £500,000 in its 10-year capital plan towards the cost of the facility, but members of the executive committee agreed on Tuesday to pay for a feasibility study and for a business case to be developed.
The money will come from a budget already set aside for feasibility work on 3G pitch projects in Peebles and Jedburgh, and a 2G pitch in Selkirk.
Councillor Vicky Davidson said: “A 3G pitch there is going to be well used. If a town the size of Hawick cannot make a business case for a 3G pitch stack up then I don’t know how any of our other towns can.”
Councillor Ron Smith said: “I very much welcome this initiative, however there are complications relating to the flood protection issues and regarding ownership of the property into the future, but I do welcome that this seems to be going forward as a joint initiative between the Bill McLaren Foundation and the council.”
However, fellow Hawick councillor David Paterson responded that he could foresee no issue with ownership as it belonged to the common good fund and would remain that way, as far as he was concerned.
Councillors were also reassured that the additional feasibility work required on the Hawick scheme would not affect the other projects, despite the funding coming from the same £60,000 pot of cash previously allocated.