BIGGAR RFC’s vision to provide a much-improved community facility at Hartree Sports Grounds in the future has taken a big step forward with the club having been awarded nearly £800,000.
The exciting development project in South Lanarkshire is set to cost £1.16m in total and it has been announced that Clyde Wind Farm and SSE Renewables have given a total of £799,999 towards that target. The Clyde Wind Farm main fund offered £636,999 to the rugby club which has been augmented with a further award of £163,000 from the Clyde Wind Farm Extension Fund.
Biggar has benefited from previous awards which have supported various progressive phases of development to improve the facilities. For example, the most recent project funded via the Clyde Wind Farm Extension Fund saw the club take a massive step towards being carbon neutral with the installation of photovoltaic panels.
And now the club are looking to install a new gym and improve the clubhouse to meet the needs of their ever-growing membership and the wider local community.
The new gym will welcome community membership which will offer 24/7 access and benefit from modern changing rooms and toilet facilities.
The clubhouse extension will include a new function suite which will easily seat 175 guests and include a large reception/foyer, a new kitchen, bar and toilets. The existing function room will be retained and improved.
The playpark on the grounds will be dismantled before being rebuilt in a new location.
“This is a fantastic outcome for Biggar and our local community and I look forward to seeing it being brought into use before the 50th anniversary of Biggar RFC in 2025,” said Biggar president Rab Ramsay.
“The club has worked hard over the past 11 years to develop the facilities and has always shown ambition to make things better for its players, members and the community.
“This project is another massive step forward for Biggar which, with age group sides catering from three to 60+, numbering in excess of 19 teams and well over 350 players, is one of the biggest rugby clubs in the country.
“Hartree Mill is also home to Biggar United FC and is capable of hosting various other sports.
“This latest phase follows on from the changing room extension of 2012 and the pitch development of 2015, and will mean that Biggar will be home to some of the very best sports and community facilities anywhere in Scotland.
“The club is grateful for the awards which will ensure that those involved in sport will have the very best of facilities both on and off the field of play.”
The final funds, which are needed to start the project, are now being sought by the club.
Both Clyde funds are designed to support local community focused projects that meet local community needs, and the club is hopeful that these substantial awards will provide momentum in their fund-raising efforts that could see the development works commence later this year starting with the gym.
In 2022-23, the Biggar men’s 1st XV finished in sixth place in National League Division One while the women’s senior team were second in their equivalent division.
Young players who have come through the Biggar ranks are doing well with, for example, Emma Orr a contracted Scottish Rugby player and Jamie Campbell an Edinburgh Rugby Academy member.