THE athletics provision at the new Peebles High School will be “at least as good as what currently exists”, according to a councillor.

Concerns were recently raised by local coaches Linda and Gregor Nicholson that plans for the £46 million development would be “inadequate”.

Their calls for better facilities were supported by two of Tweeddale’s best ever athletes – Olympian Chris O’Hare and multiple Scottish champion Stacey Downie.

Objections saw Scottish Borders Council (SBC) move to reassure the community over the school proposals.

The matter was discussed this month by Innerleithen Community Council, with Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler telling the virtual gathering that he had been at a number of meetings where the designs were discussed.

He told this newspaper: “I know that the design team are working as hard as they can to ensure that within the budget and the footprint of the site the new athletics training provision is at least as good as what currently exists.

“Constructive discussions have included representatives from local athletics clubs, parents and teaching staff.”

According to SBC papers, there is currently a 100m running track, long jump runway and an all weather pitch at the school, as well as sports fields.

These will be “relocated/replaced and developed as new elements” as part of the overall site design of the new Peebles High.

But calls have been made for better facilities at the school, including a second long jump pit, a throws circle and a ‘multi-use games area’.

The current proposals will hinder future generations of athletes in the area, according to the Nicholsons.

On the fears, an SBC spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council has and continues to engage with the Tweeddale community, including local elected members, community councils and community groups, to ensure that the ambition and vision for Peebles High School is delivered.”

The size of the school roll and the distance from Peebles to the nearest full athletics facility at Tweedbank have been given as reasons for improved provision.