South Scotland

Annan Athletic Galabank pitch works begin

Galabank stadium
Image caption It is hoped the works to replace the pitch can be completed for the new season

Work is getting under way on a £592,000 project to install an artificial pitch at the home of Scottish Third Division football side Annan Athletic.

The finance for the "third generation" surface includes money seized from criminals in the Scottish government's Cashback for Communities scheme.

The works contract has gone to the Malcolm Group who aim to complete the project before the new season starts.

Funding has also come from Dumfries and Galloway Council and Sport Scotland.

Part of the 3G development involves levelling off the slope at the Galabank ground.

Club chairman Henry McClelland said that would involve a huge effort.

'Very tight'

"Essentially what will happen, at the top end of the park the pitch will be lowered by two feet and at the bottom it will be raised by two feet," he said.

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Media captionAnnan Athletic chairman Henry McLelland tells BBC Scotland's Colin Colthart about the community and club impact of pitch redevelopment plans.

A local farmer has agreed to take away the 300 lorry-loads of top soil which that operation will produce.

"The time frame is very tight," he added.

"Our first scheduled game in the Ramsdens Challenge Cup could be a home tie on the last Saturday in July.

"The likelihood of completion for that date is very, very tight."

If it is not ready, Mr McClelland said the Scottish Football League would allow them to play their first two ties away from home, if necessary.

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