A new 3G pitch – funded with money seized from criminals – has been opened in the West of Edinburgh to the joy of local sports teams.

The ‘Cashback for Pitches’ programme provided £180,000 towards the cost of the new pitch at Malleny Park, Balerno. Scottish FA Chief Executive Stewart Regan was joined at the event by Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health and Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health and Social Care Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council. Local school children from Currie RFC and Currie Star FC and community sports representatives also took part in the special ceremony.

The pitch, designed for football and rugby, will have a massive impact on the football pathway in South West Edinburgh and will become a hub for both Currie Star and Currie Boys Club. It will also support Balerno High School’s PE and School Sport programmes, local primary schools and Currie RFC. Other sports clubs and activities will have access during the week through the Active Schools programme with community access at weekends and during the holidays. 

Stewart Regan said "This is another fantastic CashBack facility project for football and in particular the communities in the south west of Edinburgh.

“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 across Scotland. 

“I'm sure Malleny Park will be no different and will see the local clubs involved grow and develop, further supporting and strengthening grassroots football in this area."

The total £600,000 funding for Malleny Park has been provided by Scottish Government Cashback for Pitches programme, the City of Edinburgh Council, sportscotland and WREN.

Cllr Henderson said: “I’m delighted that the Council and partners have funded this pitch which will offer year-round opportunities for both adults and young people to take part in sport. Not only will it help to increase participation in football and outdoor sport, it will also help the development of grassroots football and rugby in the area.”