£100,000 athletics facility for Montrose

SPORTS facilities in Montrose will receive another major boost with a new all-weather athletics track sited next to Montrose Academy and the town’s sports centre.

The project, announced today (Thursday), is expected to cost around £100,000 and will be funded from a number of sources including Angus Council, Montrose Common Good Fund and £44,000 from sportscotland.

Montrose and District Athletics Club will also contribute to the cost with money raised by its own members and donations from local businesses.

Originally intended to be included in the development of the school’s sports pitches, the plans for the athletics element were shelved due to cost but were revived two years ago by the athletics club and the council.

The training area, which will include a three-lane all-weather, floodlit sprint/hurdle track with pole vault and high/triple/long jump facilities, will be built on the existing playing fields away from the main pitches.

It will be open to local athletics clubs, schools, sports development and the wider community as an alternative training area within the existing sports facilities.

Although the project has yet to be put out to tender, construction is expected to be completed by the autumn.

Councillor Jeanette Gaul, the council’s leisure spokeswoman, said: “We are delighted that this project can now go forward for the benefit of people of all ages in the community.

“When the playing fields were established around 10 years ago, consideration was given as to what could be done for athletics. Original plans indicated that a training area away from the main pitches would be advantageous. Unfortunately, due to costs, this couldn’t be done at the time and the project was put on hold.

“In 2011 the local Montrose and District Athletics Club, along with the council, revived the project, which will now go out to tender, with expected completion this autumn.”

The facility will complement the new Montrose Sports Centre and swimming pool, which was also backed by sportscotland with funding of £1 million, and chief executive Stewart Harris said the organisation is pleased to be supporting further improvements at the Marine Avenue site.

He continued: “Sportscotland’s latest investment of £44,000 will assist Montrose and District Athletics Club in providing a new three-lane all-weather floodlit sprint track for training, a long jump pit, and a high jump fan and pole vault box.

“These improvements will take the athletics facilities in Montrose to the next level, and will help encourage more people to become involved in sport and physical activity.”