Work to create a £1.2 million community sports hub in the heart of Cupar has begun.
Young members of Howe of Fife Rugby Club cut the first sod yesterday to mark the start of the ambitious project at Duffus Park.
The aim is to replace the outdated facilities, which are considered no longer fit for purpose, while also providing an opportunity for a range of other sports to be played on the site.
The present clubhouse is on Provost Wynd, more than a mile from the pitch at Duffus Park, and the work will bring the two together. It will also cater for increased demand for youth rugby from more than 250 children.
Much of the fundraising for the new hub was done by club members, who received the backing of rugby legends Doddy Weir and John Beattie.
Club secretary Alison Murray hailed the development as great news for Cupar. “We’re on a split site at the moment, which isn’t ideal,” she said.
“Provost Wynd is very narrow and we can’t get a coach up there so the logistics of it make things very difficult.
“We want to be able to offer decent hospitality to visiting clubs.”
She added: “On top of that, we have lots more girls playing rugby now but no girls’ changing rooms or any children’s areas at all.”
In the long-term it is hoped that other users, including hockey and football players, will be able to use the site. “This will cater for everybody, not just the rugby club,” Mrs Murray said.
“We’re now a registered charity so it means we can offer out our building to the community, although it will still belong to the club.”
A new caf planned for the site has also been welcomed as a boost for parents who often have to wait about in the cold while their children are training.
Meeting rooms will also be created, along with eight self-contained changing rooms with showers, dedicated accommodation for officials, medical and physiotherapy facilities, disabled access and a community recreation area. It is intended that proceeds from the sale of the clubhouse in Provost Wynd will go towards funding the inside of the new facility.