Investment in Lewis sports arena

Shona Robison today (Wednesday) welcomed news of a sportscotland award for the development of a covered 3G surface sports arena at the Back Football and Recreation Club.

The Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport was in the Western Isles for a series of engagements, including a visit to the club at Upper Coll and the launch of NHS Western Isles’ ‘Well North Bus’ – a mobile unit providing healthcare screening and treatment services to local communities – at Tolsta School.

The £338,417 sportscotland award for the Upper Coll facility includes £200,000 from the CashBack for Communities scheme, which re-invests money recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act back into communities hit by crime and anti-social behaviour, providing opportunities for young people to take part in free activities and programmes. It completes a funding package to bring the new all-weather arena to reality.

Ms Robison said:

“This investment in a cover for the sports arena and the launch of the Well North Bus is excellent news for the people of the Western Isles.

“Sport can make a significant contribution to Scotland’s health and well-being as well as giving our young people something positive, purposeful and constructive to do. This latest investment in facilities at Back Football and Recreation Club will deliver a covered all-weather pitch that will help increase the opportunities for young people in the local area to participate in football.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the legacy from the Commonwealth Games is felt right across Scotland and our Cashback for Communities Programme is making a valuable contribution to this effort. The programme will have invested almost £25m in sports activities and facilities by 2014, helping to deliver a lasting legacy from the Games.

“The Well North Bus will widen the reach of healthcare screening and treatment services to communities in the Western Isles. It will improve access to services, particularly for hard to reach groups, providing people with health checks close to their homes, as well as services such as smoking cessation and advice on healthy eating. I am confident that the bus will greatly assist the health board in its efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of the Western Isles.”