A Highland League football club in Moray has won its bid for public cash despite concerns it has received too much already.
Forres Mechanics applied to the town’s common good fund for a £3,000 grant to help cover the cost of its drainage system at Mosset Park.
However, objections were raised at a full council meeting yesterday due to the team already having received the same total earlier in the financial year for the same reason.
Forres councillor Claire Feaver argued the public pot should not be used to prop up “commercial enterprises” – stressing there were other worthy groups in the town.
She said: “The club has already received money from the fund this year and been relieved of rent costs of about £30,000 by the council.
“There are so many other causes in Forres that are equally deserving that do not have a commercial undertaking and don’t make the same kind of call on the public purse.”
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However, fellow Forres councillor Lorna Creswell stressed the club was a big part of community life in the town.
She said: “If we are behind supporting improvements of community assets then we should take it seriously.”
Forres Mechanics’ current pitch was developed in the 1980s when the current A96 Inverness road in the town was built.
However, the move created flooding problems for the football ground and prompted the club to invest £22,000 in a new drainage system.
Forres councillor George Alexander, who is a director of the football club and left the chambers during the debate, explained the improvements had meant no matches had been called off due to wet weather this year – with only one postponed due to frost.
He added: “We did our best to raise the money for the drainage system but we have been struggling to pay it off. This was just the last little bit that was needed.
“The pitch is a common good asset though, it owns the ground, so the money from the fund will be getting used on maintaining something that belongs to it.”
Forres Mechanics was granted the money by 13 votes to nine.