0 Lease option for Peebles

Groundbreaking proposals to hand over Peebles pitches to the town's clubs have been tabled by Scottish Borders Council.

Ongoing drainage problems at Whitestone Park have resulted in Peebles Rovers playing the majority of their games away from home.

And in recent weeks have scheduled their home matches to be played on nearby Kerfield.

It was a similar story for the town's cricket team who have spent much of the summer on the road due their own sticky wicket.

But following the latest in a series of meetings with the local authority, proposals to give the club's more power over the upkeep of their pitches have been introduced.

Colin McDonald, chairman of Peebles Rovers, told us: "All of the clubs in the town would have to be in agreement if we were to progress with something like this.

"We plan to hold a meeting over the coming weeks where we can all sit down and discuss the way forward."

Scottish Borders Council has agreed to carry out drainage repairs at a cost of around £10,000 in a bid to make Whitestone Park playable before any deal is struck.

But once a lease is signed the upkeep of the pitches would become the responsibilities of the clubs.

Mr McDonald added: "There are pros as well as cons to something like this and it is not an easy decision."

Similar schemes have seen SportDuns take over the pitches adjacent to Berwickshire High School.

And Selkirk Football Club recently extended its lease for Yarrow Park to include a further two pitches which were in council control.

A spokesman for the local authority said: "We are in ongoing discussions with sports groups that use Kerfield and Whitestone Park to look at possibilities for leasing pitches to a sports association, comprising the sports groups that use the parks, as a first step towards creating a sports hub for Peebles.

"Leasing could enable the tenant to apply for non-council funding for pitch improvements whilst maintaining public access to the parks.

"Discussions however are at a very early stage and it will be some time before the outcome is known."

Meanwhile, the East of Scotland FA will inspect Kerfield next week to see if it can be used as an alternative to Whitestone Park while drainage work is ongoing.

Article sourced from :-Peebleshire News

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