AN EXTENSION to a sports centre at the heart of Dunbar has been given the green light.

Hallhill Sports Centre is used by the town’s football and rugby clubs, as well as other sports clubs, with the sports facility particularly busy at weekends.

With a growing population in the town, the decision was made to apply for planning permission to extend the building.

Bobby Peters, manager at the Kellie Road facility, was delighted to see planning permission given.

He said: “Basically, the town has outgrown the centre.

“We can have two rugby games, two football games and a game of hockey on a Saturday afternoon.

“We have got seating for 60 supporters and everything else, and you’ve just not got the room.

“The extension will increase the whole social space – doubling the whole social space – and allow us to have more family functions and things like that.”

Attention now turns to securing a building warrant and applying to various sources for funding.

He estimated the cost of the extension, which will be built out towards the rugby pitch, would be about £90,000.

However, he added: “That is the price we are looking at but we are looking to do it on a voluntary basis and cut it down to £35,000 to £40,000.”

Mr Peters was hopeful people who used the sports centre would volunteer their expertise to keep the price down.

Currently, there is no confirmed date for work to begin, with Mr Peters estimating it could be early next year.

Dunbar Community Council backed the proposed development, which will also see a new bicycle rack installed outside.

The sports centre, which is owned by Dunbar Community Development Company (DCDC) and operated by Hallhill Ltd, opened its doors in September 2001 and has gone from strength to strength.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, who represents the Dunbar and East Linton ward on the local authority, was pleased to see the proposals moving forward.

He said: “Obviously, there is still a long way to go; there are still quite a lot of funds to raise.

“With the expansion in the town and the growth of different teams and visitors to the facility, we were really struggling for space, especially on a Saturday when games are at home.

“It was quite hard to accommodate everybody in the social area.”