HAWICK RUGBY CLUB are to conduct a £35,000 feasibility study which will look into building a new stand at Mansfield Park as part of a drive to “help keep the club at the centre of the community”.
The ‘Green Sky’ project has the stated aim of ensuring that the club can stay at the forefront of the Scottish domestic game and continue its proud tradition of producing players such as Jim Renwick, Colin Deans, Tony Stanger, Stuart Hogg, Darcy Graham and Lisa Thomson for the international team. There will also be provision for a Bill McLaren Foundation museum.
Funding for the study has come from one of Scotland’s biggest wind farm operators, Community Windpower, which is behind the Faw Side Community Wind Farm located between Langholm and Hawick.
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“This club is at the heart of the community and we’re delighted this feasibility study, under the ‘Green Sky’ project, can take place to ensure we can support even more people and events within the area,” said Hawick president Neil Hamilton.
“The study will provide us with the platform to understand exactly what we need, how we can go about it, what it could look like and also how much it could cost.
“However, without the funding from Community Windpower this study would not have been able to take place and the club is very grateful for this invaluable support.
“A key part of the study is to guarantee we engage with everyone in the community to ensure the new stand will cater for a wide range of needs.
“This will include increasing our support for disabled, children’s and women’s rugby, while also expanding the audience through new versions of the game, such as Teri Touch Rugby which can include children and grandparents playing in the same team.”
The project will be managed by club members, and the results of the study are expected in March 2021, at which point the club plans to move forward with a fundraising drive to build the new fit-for-purpose stand and facilities that will be available for use by the whole of the local community.
“Among the facilities in the new stand will be space for the Bill McLaren Foundation’s museum, new changing facilities and space for community events including weddings, birthdays and wakes,” added Hamilton.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and one the community should grasp, as we want the ‘Green Sky’ project to be innovative in how we approach the new stand.
“As a club we produced sixty-five caps from the men’s and women’s international teams including three in the current men’s squad and two in the women’s, and we believe that these new plans will helps us achieve our aim of providing a further 65 capped players in the future.”
Rod Wood, managing director at Community Windpower, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide support to the world-famous Hawick Rugby Football Club as it looks to create exciting plans for the future.
“The club is at the centre of the community, just as our operational wind farms are, playing a vital role in encouraging sport, exercise and togetherness among a cross section of the community.
“We hope this is just the start of our support for the club and people of Hawick, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of the study.”