A proposed £300,000 revamp of the Bladnoch Pavilion in the showfield got a £23,500 boost this week from Wigtown Area Committee.
Elected members agreed on Wednesday to give Wigtown Agricultural Society £23,500 towards improvements to the pavilion in Bladnoch Park, the traditional home of Wigtown Agricultural Show and Newton Stewart Rugby Club.
The money, from the WAC Discretionary Budget, will help the Society upgrade the building for the benefit of the local area and the rugby club, with new changing rooms a top priority.
Mid Galloway Councillor Graham Nicol said: “I am delighted that this money has been allocated to the agricultural society and the rugby club. It’s a forward looking scheme and should secure excellent facilities for the next 20-30 year for the rugby players and the agricultural society.”
In a presentation to councillors, representatives from WAS and NSRFC explained that currently the pavilion at Bladnoch Park is a two-storey agricultural building and its range of uses are restricted by its construction method, with a tin roof that causes noise disturbance when its raining. The insufficient heating and access to the second floor via a steep concrete stair case that is unsuitable for the elderly, disabled and very young.
The ground floor houses two changing rooms used by the rugby club who lease Bladnoch Park for training sessions, match days, fundraising and hospitality.
The rugby club currently have a first team (adult) and four youth development squads( minis, under 14s, 16s and 18s) and the current changing facilities no longer meet Scottish Rugby Union’s requirements. Failure to address the shortcomings of the changing facilities could jeopardise the future of the rugby club.
Four other organisations which applied for grants from the WAC Discretionary Budget were successful.
Aldouran Wetland Garden received £1600; Stranraer 400 received £4,500; Stranraer and Galloway Visual Arts Society received £2000 and the Sanctuary Lab at the Dark Sky Park received £2,896.