LEISURE in Linlithgow will be transformed with £225,000 funding scored for new rugby facilities.
Linlithgow RFC have just secured the cash from the sportscotland Sports Facilities Fund, which will go a long way to support the half a million pound plans for a new building, including an all-weather training pitch, extra changing rooms, and a strength and conditioning room. In a major plus for the town, the new training facility, which will sit next to the existing club house, will also be available to the wider community.
Club president Craig Young said: “This is terrific news for the club and the whole community. Disruption to our training has been particularly common both this season and in the past couple of years. The indoor facility will ensure that we can have training regardless of the weather.
‘‘It will also create an environment where the training experience can be improved all round, especially for our younger players.”
He added: “We have been clear from the outset that the facility will add to the leisure facilities in Linlithgow.
‘‘We have already had discussions with groups who might be interested in making use of the pitch or gym and we would be glad to hear from others.”
Last August, the Journal and Gazette reported that Linlithgow RFC was awarded £45,000 from the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities Rugby Facilities Fund for the project, that has been five years in the planning.
Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this thriving club in providing a facility which will become a real asset for the community.
‘‘sportscotland is committed to investing in quality facilities, and the new indoor training pitch at Linlithgow Rugby Club will help to widen the sporting opportunities throughout the area.”
Support for the move has also come from Scottish Rugby.
Neil Carrie, partnership projects manager at Scottish Rugby, said: “Scottish Rugby is delighted to be able to support this project through the CashBack fund and this considerable award from sportscotland is further confirmation of the club’s progress in growing participation for hundreds of young people, and its efforts to provide them with the best quality training environment.”
Linlithgow RFC president Craig Young feels the funding success is a ringing endorsement.
He added: “We are tremendously grateful to sportscotland, to Scottish Rugby and other bodies that have allocated funding to us. It shows the strength of our case for this facility and their confidence that Linlithgow is the kind of club that can deliver this project.
‘‘We know there is a major fundraising task ahead of us within the club to raise the rest of the funding but I am certain this week’s announcement of support will spur us on.”
The Linlithgow project has also been awarded £35,000 from the Land Trust and £5000 from West Lothian Council Sports Grants Scheme.
Local fundraising events include a golf day at Kingsfield in May and a sportsman’s dinner at Murrayfield. Piggy banks have also been handed out to youth players at the Mains Park club.
It is hoped Linlithgow’s new Rugby Club facilities will open next year.