Queen of the South officials have revealed ambitious plans to create two all-weather football pitches next to Palmerston Park.
The Dumfries club’s directors are awaiting the results of a feasibility study into transforming the old Tesco building into a state-of-the-art sports complex.
This would involve the installation of two 50 x 22 metre synthetic surfaces and changing facilities to be used by the Doonhamers’ youth and senior squads and the community.
“We have a feasibility study ongoing to incorporate two 3G pitches within the building,” chairman Billy Hewitson told the club’s annual general meeting on Monday night.
“We would be able to hold two 50 by 22 metre pitches and this would be beneficial to the club and community as a whole.
“The feasibility study will be complete in the very near future and we will then be able to see whether this can happen. We need to generate income from non-football sources and this would fall into that category.”
Operations director Mark Robertson added: “Income from the gate simply does not match the club’s outgoings – we must find another way to bring income.”
The old supermarket building, on Lochfield Road, has lain empty since the opening of a Tesco Extra at Cuckoo Bridge in 2004.
The results of the feasibility study, which will advise the club on the best way forward, are expected back from specialist surveyors within weeks.
And the chairman insists there is a “lot of interest in this from various parties”.
Mr Hewitson, who was re-elected as a Palmerston director and chairman, said: “I don’t think it will cost a lot to fix up the old Tesco building, although we will know more when the study is completed.
“The surface of the building shouldn’t cost too much to fix, the biggest cost will be changing facilities and implementing the services back in. It’s an ideal building for this type of thing and there is a lot of interest in this from various parties.
“Once we get the feasibility study back we can then look at costs and how this would be funded.Planning permission shouldn’t be an issue as we would not be changing the structure, instead it would be building warrant.” Also on the agenda at Monday’s meeting was the multi-million pound redevelopment of Palmerston, which Mr Hewitson claimed was “still in the background”. Queens, working with Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), hope to demolish and rebuild the main stand with the creation of an office block to provide the social landlord with new headquarters.
The chairman added: “I contacted DGHP for an update last week and they say they are still very much interested. This project is still in the background and DGHP hope to have a paper before their board by next year.”
● See Friday’s Standard for more on Monday’s meeting.