Cash seized through the Proceeds of Crime Act has funded yet another new 3G pitch in Scotland - this time for communities in and around Stonehaven.


‘Cashback for Pitches’ provided some £300,000 towards the cost of the new pitch at Mineralwell Park, which was officially opened on Saturday by Mr Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health. Partner funding amounting to a further £300,000 came from Aberdeenshire Council to help complete the funding package and help turn local dreams for a 3G facility into reality.


The opening also formed a fitting end to a week in which the Scottish FA had a number of activities running to mark UEFA’s Week of Grassroots Football.


Cameron Watt, Facilities Manager and Mark Slater, Club Development Manager (North Region) attended on behalf of the Scottish FA, together with representatives from sportscotland, Scottish Rugby, Mr Hamish Vernall - Provost of Aberdeenshire Council, Mr Douglas Samways - Chair of the pitch project group and a tremendous number of local parents, considering the almost incessant rain that fell before, during and after the opening ceremony. However no amount of rain could dampen the spirits of all involved in the celebration.


The pitch, designed to support both football and rugby, will have a massive impact on the football pathway in the area, becoming a hub facility across the game with Stonehaven Youth FC, Mill Inn YFC, Cowie Amateurs and Stonehaven Junior football clubs all to be using the new facility for training and match play. It will also support local school sport programmes and given the football/rugby partnership element of Cashback for Pitches, also players across the age ranges at Mackie Academy FP Rugby Club.  All in, close to 900 players will benefit.


Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive said "This is another fantastic facility project arising from the Cashback for Pitches programme and in particular for the communities in and around Stonehaven. Thanks to the Scottish Government's investment through CashBack, partnered with local authority support, we now have numerous examples of the positive impact that having a true 'home' facility has on clubs at all levels of the game.