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Community benefits from new 3G sports pitches at Netherdale

Two artificial 3G sports pitches have successfully been renewed at Netherdale sports complex and are once again available for booking and use by local sports clubs and groups.

The existing full-size pitch, suitable for football and rugby, and the smaller five-a-side pitch have been replaced following 10-years of extensive use by sports clubs and the local community.

The opportunity was also taken to upgrade the floodlighting system at Netherdale the installation of more energy efficient LED lighting.

The original surfaces – operated and maintained by Live Borders as part of a wider outdoor facility portfolio of venues across the region – were installed in 2012.

Since then, they have been well utilised by a variety of different clubs and groups averaging over 1000 weekly visits throughout the season.

The overall budget for the pitch replacements was £425k. Live Borders, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and the Hayward Trust each contributed £100k, with £125k coming from the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

Live Borders’ investment comes from earned income from pitch hires over the ten-year period.

Ben Lamb, Director of Operations, Live Borders: “Netherdale is a fantastic community sports facility which has been well-utilised by a range of clubs and groups over the last decade.

“The upgrade works have been made possible due to a partnership approach between key stakeholders. The new surfaces will also complement the refurbished stand, ensuring that Netherdale continues to be a popular, well-utilised and valued community asset.”

The Netherdale complex acts as the home ground for Gala Fairydean Rovers FC and a wide variety of community sports clubs and groups.

Councillor Euan Jardine, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “It brings me great pleasure seeing significant investment directed towards improving sporting facilities like Netherdale which deliver huge benefits to the local community and the wider Borders area.

“These new pitches will allow local sporting clubs and groups, who are often at the heart of our communities, to continue to thrive whilst also offering up opportunities for future generations to become involved in sport.

“Sport is deep-rooted within the culture and history of the Borders and my hope is that these improvements at Netherdale help to continue that legacy for years to come.

“A special mention must go to all the partners involved in making these improvements possible – including Live Borders, The Hayward Trust and the Scottish Football Association.”

Repair works as part of the renovation of the Peter Womersley designed Netherdale stand, which sits adjacent to the main artificial pitch, is continuing and is due to be completed in late September.

The stand has been closed since 2018 due to health and safety concerns.