Community trust sought for all-weather surface

A public meeting is to be held later this month in an attempt to set up a community trust to kick-start plans for an all-weather pitch in Forfar.

As revealed in the Dispatch and Herald, local football clubs have struggled during the winter months to secure suitable training grounds during the big freeze.

It prompted Forfar Boys Football Club to contact Forfar’s four Angus Councillors to set up a meeting in an attempt to secure an all-weather facility, which they feel is sorely lacking in the town.

Whilst Kirriemuir, Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie and Montrose all have all-weather facilities, the local club appealed to Angus Council to provide a fairer “playing field” in Forfar by providing an all-weather facility in the town.

Joseph Mitchell, chairman of FBFC, commented at the time that Forfar was the “poor relation” in terms of all-weather provision, with parents running “here, there and everywhere” go take their children to training outside Forfar.

In the last week the club has held a “positive meeting” with representatives of Lochside Boys Football Club and Angus Councillors Bill and Glennis Middleton and Colin Brown.

Mr Mitchell explained: “They (the Forfar councillors) expressed their support and saw the requirement for an all-weather pitch, but unfortunately as it stands there is no provision in the capital budget for one.

“After a bit of discussion it was agreed that possibly the way forward is to consider the wider community, not just football teams, and to try to raise necessary funds through grant funding and fund-raising to provide a pitch in Forfar.

“With that in mind we decided we would hold a public meeting with a view to get enough support to set up a community trust as a way of taking it forward.”

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 16 at 7.30 pm in Forfar Farmington Football Club’s club-house at the Market Muir.

Mr Mitchell continued: “We are looking for all interested parties to come along and explore the possibility of setting up a trust and to gauge support for fund-raising.”

They are hoping for a good turnout from other clubs in the town, from the ladies hockey team, Strathmore Rugby Club, the town’s junior football clubs to Forfar Athletic Football Club.

Mr Mitchell added: “This is an open meeting and anyone interested can come along if they wish. We will certainly be looking for support from the wider community as opposed to just the two boys football clubs.”

The club has been buoyed by the success of the community effort in Kirriemuir which resulted in the town’s all-weather pitch adjacent to Webster’ High School.

Mr Mitchell concluded: “We are keen to hear from anyone with experience with this sort of thing. We are looking for volunteers to drive it forward and would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone with previous experience.”