Campaigners across the Highlands, Moray and Aberdeenshire are celebrating after scoring a share of £1.25million of Sport Scotland funding grants.
The cash has been pledged to fund improvements to facilities across the county to increase participation in physical activity.
The Elgin Sports Community Trust secured the maximum £100,000 grant to continue efforts to build a new artificial pitch at the town’s Lesser Borough Briggs.
Meanwhile, the Helmsdale and District Development Trust received £75,000 for a new multi-use games area and Methlick Community Council has been awarded £25,000 for a new games court.
Hopes funding will help Elgin pitch be open for summer
Dave Allen, chairman of the Elgin Sports Community Trust, explained he hoped the pitch would be complete in time for the summer.
He said: “We’ve been affordable because we have been underwritten by a couple of big companies, but we’ve now received £265,000 from grants.
“Sport Scotland has recognised we’re a fantastic example of positive community action, we’re hoping their support will unlock some more funding opportunities for us and help us maintain this momentum.”
The Helmsdale and District Development Trust is using the cash to help fund a project to redevelop disused courts in the village into a floodlit and covered venue to allow it be used through the winter.
It will also be used by local schools for PE as well as training for sports including football, shinty, tennis and athletics.
Development officer Mary Stewart said: “The old run-down tennis courts are currently one of the first things you see as you drive into the village from the south.
“A new up-to-date facility with a cover and floodlights will give a much-improved impression of the village.”
Funding grants to boost sport participation
Methlick Community Council wants to open a new multi-use surface in the village to create a new space to play tennis, netball and basketball.
The initiative follows other projects in the village in recent years, including a re-laid football pitch and new cricket pitch.
Priority was given for the Sports Scotland funding grants, which have been funded by the National Lottery, to support projects encouraging children, women, disabled people and rural communities participate in more physical activity.