MELROSE will have a new million pounds 3G pitch later this year.

Scottish Borders Council has given the Greenyards plans, which includes new floodlights, the go-ahead.

And work is expected to start as early as next month with a completion date being pencilled in for November.

Council Convener David Parker, who has been heavily involved in negotiations to secure the new 3G pitch at Melrose, told the Border Telegraph: “I am delighted that we have been able to reach a point where we can invest in the next 3G pitch in the Scottish Borders in Melrose.

“The council has a proud track record of delivering community synthetic pitches across the Scottish Borders and the Melrose proposal will make a significant difference to sports clubs in the town.

"It will enhance football and rugby and give many generations of young people access to a first class sporting facility.

“The pitch is owned by the Ormiston Trust, whose sole aim is to make sure that it provides important community facilities for all and this community investment in Melrose will certainly do that.

"We look forward to the project being delivered.”

The all year round playing surface will be open to all local sports clubs and schools.

As well as a 3G pitch and floodlights, the approved plans also include a new spectator walkway.

And the detailed plans, which are being supported by Scottish Rugby, will be on show during a drop-in session at the Greenyards on Tuesday, June 11 between 6pm and 8pm.

Melrose RFC chairman Gordon Brown added: "Melrose Rugby is delighted at this news.

“This has been a long-standing ambition of the club since the launch of our Legacy project in 2017.

"The new 3G pitch will allow the club to continue competing at the highest level as well as being an incredible asset that will enable other sporting activities and events.

“The club would like to thank all our support partners in approving this exciting project.

"It will mark an exciting new chapter for us as we open our doors to the local community and others in the surrounding area.

“We look forward to welcoming anyone interested in seeing the plans to the Greenyards on 11 June.”

Although contentious in footballing circles, 3G surfaces have been given the thumbs up from rugby's governing body.

The SRU's director for Edinburgh, Borders and Lothian, David Drummond, told us: “Scottish Rugby believes this move to a 3G surface is a positive step at the Greenyards to help the rugby club and the wider sporting and local community enjoy access on a more regular basis, together with the subsequent health benefits that will bring.

“We know pitches in Scotland come under significant pressure throughout the season so the level of investment and commitment from Scottish Borders Council to improve this facility was something we wanted to support and contribute towards.

“We are supporting new 3G pitch projects across Scotland and this opportunity in the Borders is another example of Scottish Rugby investing to help clubs become more sustainable and have high-quality facilities to engage existing and future players.”