Sports clubs set for cash backing

TWO MONTROSE sporting clubs are set to receive a cash windfall this week to help upgrade their facilities.

Montrose Tennis Club has applied to Montrose Common Good Fund for £16,000 and Angus Council’s community grants scheme for £5,000 to help meet the cost of £86,000 worth of improvements to its courts and fencing.

Meanwhile, Montrose and District Athletics Club has applied for £5,000 from the community grant scheme and £20,000 from the Common Good Fund towards the £70,000 cost of installing a synthetic track and floodlights at its Marine Avenue ground.

Both projects have received the backing of all four local councillors, who administer the Common Good, and their recommendation for approval along with that of neighbourhood services director Ron Ashton, will go before the full council today (Thursday) for a final decision.

The tennis club has already secured funding of £30,250 and has also applied to Sportscotland for a further £35,000. The athletics club has also lodged an application with Sportscotland for the same amount.

Head coach Colin Christie this week welcomed the recommendations and said the funding would help to prolong the group’s training programme throughout the year to the benefit of its athletes.

He said: “We’re still waiting for the actual specification of the floodlights from the council as well as details of how long a track area they want to fit in there.

“This will make a massive difference to the club and we’ll be able to train in the winter. At the moment we have six months of the year when we’re restricted to indoors and can do very little in track and field training.

“We’re hoping to have the track laid by September but if we don’t manage to get our application in to Sportscotland within the next month it’s unlikely that we’ll meet that timescale. We’re also hoping to get the council to speed up on planning for it and to provide proper costings.”

The track, which would be sited next to the new combined sports centre and swimming pool, will be open to local schools which Mr Christie said he hoped would encourage local youngsters to become involved in athletics.

He said: “There’s no other all-weather area in Angus and will help us to keep producing top level athletes.

“We’re pleased the councillors have got behind the project and seen the merits of it. It will also make a difference to the academy and some of the primary schools and hopefully encourage more participation.”