PLANS for a £300,000 pump track in Hawick have been given the go-ahead by council planners.

The pump track, which will feature ramps, jumps and banked corners for bikes, will be situated on the site of the former tennis courts in Wilton Lodge Park, and is being pushed forward by the Hawick Community Pump Track group.

The group has already received £200,000 from Scottish Borders Council, which also owns the former tennis courts, and is currently fundraising to make up the extra cash.

Ben Wilson, the group’s secretary, said: “The committee are absolutely enthralled about the news this being a pretty big milestone.

“We’ve put in a lot of work over the past years and it’s great when you get news of successful effort, we’ve still a fair way to go but it’s one step closer.

“This planning permission has opened up opportunities to tap into certain funds that need planning as a requirement.

“The facility will be available to use from kids on balance bikes all the way to as old as you like.

“The facility itself comprises of two tracks. One smaller track for kids on balance bikes and people new to the sport, which encourages progression in skills enabling them to move onto the larger track.

“Even the larger track has progression from learners to elite riders, offering something for all.

“The benefits to the community of the town are great especially the often forgotten about teenagers.

“This facility offers a place to engage in a sport improving social skills alongside health and well-being.”

The group has plans to install floodlights for the track, but this will need separate planning permission, and a bat survey is due to be carried out in May which will likely decide the fate of the application.

Mr Wilson added that although this is a major milestone for the group, they haven’t set an opening date: “In terms of opening I couldn’t commit to a date at this stage as it is all dependant on successful funding.

“When we have everything in place there will be plenty of time to publicise and create a hype.”