ATHLETES in Moray will be able to keep on running, thanks to a £34,000 boost that will pay for a vital revamp of a local track.
The grant, announced this week, will pay the majority of costs to replace the running track at Elgin’s Morriston Playing Fields.
The news comes just in time for groups like the Moray Road Runners, who were wondering where they would be training when their outdoor season starts again next spring.
Moray Council announced this week that its officials had been successful in working with the Scottish Government’s Community Justice Division to secure the £34,000 in funding. The ‘CashBack For Communities’ money comes from proceeds of crime, seized by the courts following prosecutions.
Concerns over the state of Morriston came to the fore in September, after renewed calls were made for a new £6.5 million regional sports facility in Moray that would include an all-weather track.
However, that project has not secured funding, and uncertainty over its future left local athletes in limbo.
Frustrated mums and dads, many of them parents of young Moray Road Runners members, founded the TRACK (Training, Running and Athletics for the Community and the Kids) group in a bid to find ways to make radical improvements to local facilities.
The cinder track at Morriston, unmarked and covered in clover and weeds, was a particular concern to parents as it was the club’s main training facility. They said it was in a dilapidated state and potentially unsafe for their children.
Laura Gibson, one of the parents who has spearheaded the TRACK group, said this week that the young athletes were delighted by the news.
"It’s absolutely brilliant, especially for all of the youngsters," she told ‘The Northern Scot’.
"They have all been inside training, wondering what’s going to be happening next spring. They are very happy."
For more on this story, see this week's 'Northern Scot'