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Pitch upgrade works underway at Netherdale

Work is underway to replace the main 3G pitch and 5-a-side pitch at Netherdale, Galashiels.

The upgrade will retain Netherdale’s position as a prominent community sports facility, as well as complementing the work which is already underway to refurbish the Peter Womersley designed Category-A listed stand at the Netherdale venue.

Click here to watch progress video (23 July)

The popular 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 around 1000 weekly visits and over 60 hours activity per week.

The overall budget requirement for the pitch replacements is £425k. Live Borders, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and the Hayward Trust will each contribute £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. While the facility has been well maintained throughout that period, the 3G pitches – as we expected would be the case – are coming to the end of their lifespan.

“The upgrade works have been made possible due to a partnership approach between key stakeholders. In addition to the new surfaces, the venue will benefit from new floodlighting which will bring the main pitch back to international standards for rugby and football. The work will also complement the refurbished stand, ensuring that Netherdale continues to be a popular, well-utilised and valued community asset.”

Councillor Euan Jardine, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “The Borders has a long and rich history of sport and the various hundreds of clubs and groups across our towns and villages sit right at the heart of our communities.

“The fact that we need to replace the 3G pitches at Netherdale demonstrates the tremendous use and benefit this facility has provided to the local community over the last 10 years.

“As a Council we are committed to improving the public’s access to high quality sporting facilities and helping nurture sporting talent, and by investing in brand new pitches at Netherdale we can ensure current and future generations benefit from world-class sporting facilities.”

Gala Fairydean Rovers (GFR) is the incumbent club at Netherdale. In addition to their senior football squads, the club has junior, youth, disability and walking football. The GFR team plays in the Lowland League and under Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) regulations for that tier of the game, the main pitch must be certified to a minimum FIFA quality standard to allow matches to be played.

Ryan Cass, chairman, Gala Fairydean Rovers, said: “Gala Fairydean Rovers is a proud community football club with a great history and reputation. It’s important for us that the standard of our facilities match our ambitions as a club and it’s fantastic to see the upgrade work now underway for our pitches as well as our A-listed stand. None of this would be possible without Live Borders and Scottish Borders Council, so we hugely appreciate their continued support.”

Work to replace the 3G pitches started on Monday 13 June and is expected to last for approximately 10 weeks.