The SFP were delighted to be able to assist Elgin City F.C. with a Facility Strategy award to help with the installation costs of a new pitch irrigation system at Borough Briggs. After being fined for not providing a surface fit for purpose last season, the club decided that a new sprinkler system was essential and agreed to press ahead with this key infrastructure project.
Graham Tatters, the Elgin City F.C. Chairman had this to say about the award from the SFP “The club’s Board of Directors agreed that we should use the funds from our Cup run to invest in a sprinkler system, following the club fine last season. This would ensure that we had sufficient water to encourage growth during the close season if we had another drought. We put out the tender but unfortunately after receiving several responses, we were well short of funds. However, having already received a grant for a major upgrade to our heating and showers three years ago and a year later, further funding for a training-area facility block from The Scottish Football Partnership, we applied for another grant for the sprinkler installation. The 50% grant up to £12,500 was awarded and with further financial help from sponsors we decided to proceed. The system of 22 sprinklers (14 perimeter and 8 in-field) is fully automated and can be operated remotely from the tunnel area. We were still short of funding to go for a bore hole to fill the 2 x 5,000 gallon tanks but we have obtained a licence to pump 50,000 litres a day from the River Lossie, which is sufficient for our needs. It was probably the worst year to install the sprinklers as it has hardly stopped raining since August. However, since the system was installed the coaches are finding it a huge benefit in slicking up the surface prior to kick-off and at half-time. So, it has proved really worthwhile. Elgin City F.C. would like to go on record and thank The Scottish Football Partnership and their Chief Operating Officer Stuart McCaffery for all the assistance they provided in all three of our major projects, as without the grant from The SFP not one of these projects would have been achievable. I think it is important to let clubs know how easy the application procedure is and the fact that Stuart McCaffery is on hand throughout the process.”
The photograph here shows a quick dowsing for the Elgin City players during their warm-up on match day using the recently installed sprinkler system.