Over £800,000 is being spent on new sporting facilities in Strathclyde Park to raise the profile of rugby in North Lanarkshire.
Work on the £830,000 project to build a new multi-sport 3G pitch, a hybrid pitch and refurbish Bothwellhaugh pavilion has begun after receiving the go-ahead from North Lanarkshire Council’s learning and leisure committee.
Jim Logue, convener of learning and leisure and chairman of North Lanarkshire Leisure, said “This new IRB/FIFA-rated facility is another exciting development which enhances the range of facilities available
“It’s the result of joint working between learning and leisure services, NLL and the Scottish Rugby Union.
“For the past five years, NLL has been working closely with the SRU to develop rugby in the area. For example, elite players have been based here and work with local clubs to develop youth and amateur players as well as at grassroots level to encourage youngsters to take up the game.
“The Scotland rugby sevens team train at Ravenscraig and we’re about to launch a development programme across all our secondary schools.
“Although the new facility is primarily focussed on developing rugby other sports will be able to use the facility in the evenings and weekends.”
The council-owned pavilion at the Bothwellhaugh end of the park closed several years ago and the existing pitches have been neglected.
Local politicians have welcomed the new facilities.
Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy said: “I am delighted the council has decided to spend this money on new sporting facilitiesa.
“I know from discussions with local sporting groups and residents that these will be well used and increase the number young people who take part in sport.”
Motherwell West councillor Paul Kelly added: “This is a great investment in first class sporting facilitiesa. Not only will it benefit those young and old who want to play rugby, but will also provide facilities for a range of sports.”
Bellshill councillor Harry Curran saidd: “People in Bellshill will now have an excellent local sporting facility.
“The council is committed to improving sporting facilities and this is a significant investment in upgrading the former ash pitches .”