Plans for Academy pitch step up a gear

Robert Hallyburton, Manager of Asda, Forfar, left,  handed over #500 to Joe Mitchell of Forfar Sports Association who are raising funds for an Astro Pitch.
Robert Hallyburton, Manager of Asda, Forfar, left, handed over #500 to Joe Mitchell of Forfar Sports Association who are raising funds for an Astro Pitch.

plans for an all-weather sports pitch at Forfar Academy are gathering pace as members of the Forfar Community Sports Association launch an appeal to the local business community.

Letters will be sent out to local businesses in the hope they will get behind the ambitious project to establish a 2G pitch - suitable for a variety of sports - at the Forfar Academy campus.

Supermarket giant ASDA has already lent its generous support to the cause, handing over £500, and it is hoped other businesses will follow their lead.

Forfar Academy pupils have also played their part in helping to fund the project - donating £1,000 raised at their annual sponsored walk, and the Association boosted their funds further with a fund-raising dance.

The multi-purpose pitch promises maximum utilisation in all weather and it is intended football, hockey, basketball and tennis can be played on the surface, which will also provide a training facility for ruby and athletics.

School pupils will have access to the facility throughout the school day; during the evenings, weekends and school holidays the facility will be open to various community clubs such as youth and amateur football, hockey and rugby clubs, as well as the general public. The pitch will be fenced off and floodlit and will ensure sport can be played when the current grass pitches are unplayable.

With the cost estimated to be in the region of £400,000, the Association is now at a critical stage in securing funding. A percentage of the cost will be met from grant funding, with over £100,000 pledged already. Members are working closely with Angus Council’s leisure service department and are about to submit an application for £250,000 to Sportscotland.

Joseph Mitchell, Association chairman said: “We are getting to a fairly critical stage and are writing to all the businesses within Forfar in the hope of getting some donations towards the pitch. We are looking to the business community of Forfar to give it a fairly large step up. We are sending out about 300 letters to various businesses and individuals.

“We would to try to get the pitch in place, not for this winter, but for the following winter - 2013 would be a reasonable date to aim for. This will be a community facility and we feel there are very few families in Forfar who won’t benefit from this.”

In making the donation to the Association Asda Forfar Store Manager, Robert Hallyburton, said “We are delighted to support the Forfar Community Sports Association as one of the pillars of our Community Life Initiative is Healthier Life. Through programmes and activities such as Sporting Chance, Asda Athletes and Healthy Eating, Asda aims to make the lives of children healthier. The all weather sports surface will help to make exercise more accessible to everyone all year round.”

Donations can be made via the Forfar Community Sports Association website - or by contacting treasurer Hebbie McLeod at 4 Dundee Road, Letham (818214).