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Daily Record
Daily Record
Judith Tonner

New football pitches open at Lanarkshire sports centre after huge investment

Lanarkshire footballers are kicking off on a new Fifa-accredited football pitch as part of a major leisure centre upgrade.

The new artificial 11-a-side surface at Airdrie leisure centre was officially opened this week, along with a neighbouring synthetic five-a-side kickabout area, which will not require pre-booking.

Both pitches are part of the ongoing £1.5m upgrade at the Rawyards facility, which will also see the addition of a specialist athletics track early next year as part of a larger zone for the sport encouraging track and field participation.

The new pitches have replaced the previous grass field in the middle of the existing running track, and include the installation of floodlighting and ballstop fencing.

Work is continuing on the athletics facility, which will include a new and resurfaced four-lane 400 metre track plus six 100m sprint lanes, long and high jump facilities, a spectator area and equipment stores.

Airdrie Central councillors Lesley Jarvie, Chris Costello and Jim Logue visited to see the finished football pitches and find out more about the project from facilities manager David Keating and area manager Gerry McMahon.

Councillor Logue, the North Lanarkshire leader, said: “We want to encourage sports participation, and these new facilities will provide the opportunity for local people and community teams to train and play throughout the year.

“This development provides first-class facilities for young people and the wider community – and we’re delighted the five-a-side area will be available on a non-booking basis, meaning anyone can come along and enjoy a free kick about.

“Next year we will also have the vastly improved athletics area, and this will help make Airdrie leisure centre a really top-notch sports hub.”

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