New football pitches confirmed for Midlothian communities
Communities across Midlothian are to benefit from new football pitches and upgrades to existing amenities under proposals from the Council to address the findings of a report on the county’s outdoor football facilities.
Football clubs consulted
The Football Pitch Needs Assessment Report consulted with football clubs across Midlothian to provide analysis on usage, demand, and population projections, as well as assessment of future levels of pitch provision.
New community pitches
Midlothian Council has now confirmed a range of measures reflecting requirements arising from the report, including the building of new community football pitches to serve future population growth, and an increased focus on synthetic grass pitches (STP) for playing and training.
Incorporated in new building projects
Much of the need for additional provision is to be addressed by incorporating sports pitches into the design and build of new Council assets. New pitches will also be a condition of private development in communities such as Danderhall, Millerhill, Shawfair, Penicuik and Auchendinny.
New schools with facilities
Examples include STP facilities being created as part of the proposed schools campus and housing development at Shawfair. Further synthetic pitches have been included within preliminary designs of the new Easthouses Primary School, and the Mayfield Joint Campus.
Will meet SFA size guidance
To encourage their use by community clubs, new STP provision at primary schools will have to meet the Scottish Football Association’s size guidance for seven-a-side pitches.
A pilot scheme is also being undertaken examining whether the needs of community football clubs can be met more cost effectively through Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) in schools.
Working with Dalkeith Thistle
Elsewhere, the council has pledged to work with Dalkeith Thistle and Arniston Rangers to source funding to develop new STP provision at King’s Park and Newbyres Park, respectively.
Birkenside playing fields
Renovation of existing facilities includes the reinstatement of Birkenside Playing Fields in Gorebridge following issues with waterlogging, and the commissioning of drainage works on grass pitches in Loanhead and Bilston.
Working with partners
Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for health and wellbeing, Cllr Connor McManus said: “We’re committed to working with a range of partners to improve opportunities and deliver modern, sustainable services for all our residents - particularly where there is an increasing population within the community.”
Supporting health and wellbeing
“Midlothian is Scotland’s fastest growing council area, and adequate provision of sports facilities is fundamental to supporting the population’s health and wellbeing, particularly that of children and young people.
A Great Place to Grow
“Taking action on the recommendations of the Football Pitch Needs Assessment Report will help us ensure we’re providing the right amenities for our communities so Midlothian can continue to be A Great Place To Grow.”