Buckie’s synthetic turf pitch has officially re-opened following its £240,000 refurbishment.
The new pitch was well and truly christened with the first Secondary School Girls Football Festival.
A partnership with Active Schools and the Scottish Football Association, the festival aims to encourage secondary schools girls take part in Football.
The festival is the first in a series running this academic year for all S1-6 girls to take part.
Moray Council received a £150,000 grant towards the overall cost of the pitch project from the Scottish Football Association’s Grassroots Pitch & Facilities Fund.
The fund was established with significant investment from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that formed a key part of the UK Government’s wider ‘Levelling Up’ programme.
Prior to the resurfacing works the existing pitch, which was laid in 2008, had been assessed as no longer fit for purpose, following a pitch inspection by an approved contractor.
In the 14 years since it was installed, the Buckie pitch was consistently the highest utilised synthetic pitch in Moray, with the Elgin pitch only latterly ranked higher.
In 2021/22 the Buckie pitch received around 550 bookings by community clubs and organisations.
Additionally, the pitch is used by the Active Schools programme and in the PE curriculum on weekdays by around 150 individuals a day.
Buckie Thistle FC were integral to the success of the funding application and Moray Council is grateful for their support to help improve this facility, which is a key priority in the Scottish FA’s ‘Power Of Football’ strategic plan as well as Moray Council’s Sport and Leisure Business Plan.
Moray Council’s Sport and Culture Service Manager, Kim Slater, said:
“This investment ensures the longer-term sustainability of a high quality 3G facility for a number of years to come.
“It allows Buckie Thistle FC, and all other local footballing organisations, to develop even further, both on and off the pitch.”
Scottish FA’s North Regional Manager, Graeme Sutherland, added:
“We were delighted to support the 3G replacement project located beside Buckie High School and the Swimming Pool & Fitness Room.
“It is a key facility for football development in the local area, supporting significant levels of activity across the pathway prior to its replacement.
“Now, following the installation of the new 3G surface, supporting Scottish FA Quality Mark club, Buckie Thistle FC as well as supporting activity by a number of community football groups and also the PE curriculum.”
The pitch is available for booking by community groups and clubs on weekdays from 6pm and at weekends.
Bookings can be made via Buckie Swimming Pool and Fitness Room by phone on 01542 832841 or email on email@example.com.
Online pitch bookings will become available soon.