Pitch hire hike ‘could kill adult sport on Bute’

The all-weather pitch at Rothesay Joint Campus.
The all-weather pitch at Rothesay Joint Campus.

Bute’s community councillors have echoed the concerns of island sports clubs at the cost of hiring the artificial surface at Rothesay Joint Campus.

The price of hiring the full pitch is to rise from £15.27 per hour to £55 for an adult club by 2018-19 as part of proposals agreed by Argyll and Bute Council earlier this month.

The authority wants to charge the same for the hire of all its artificial pitches - even though the Rothesay surface is the only one not of a 3G standard, meaning it is not suitable for, among other things, SFA-approved adult football matches.

Bute Community Council (BCC) member Henry Tait, a committee member and former player and manager with Rothesay Brandane AFC, told the community council this week: “We use the pitch four hours a week for training. I think this move will kill adult sport on this island.”

Fellow community councillor Paul Duffy echoed those concerns, saying: “It’s ridiculous for the council to announce this in the same week that they turned down an offer of £850,000 for Castle Toward when they’re paying £20,000 a month to maintain the property.

“It’s a knockback for everyone who plays sport on this island.”

BCC secretary Mick Common was instructed to write to Argyll and Bute Council expressing the organisation’s concern at the move.