Lowland League hopefuls Bonnyrigg Rose face race against clock to install floodlights

Bonnyrigg Rose have began a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of installing floodlights, which they must have in place before the start of next season in order to have a chance of promotion to the Lowland League.

New Dundas Park need to floodlights installed to meet SFA entry level licence criteria
New Dundas Park need to floodlights installed to meet SFA entry level licence criteria

After last week’s win over Dundonald Bluebell, the Rose need just a point this weekend against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale to secure the Conference B crown and a place in the round robin play-offs against the other Conference winners, to decide the East of Scotland champions.

The winners would then face the South of Scotland champions for a place in the Lowland League next season but they must have a SFA entry level licence to gain promotion to tier 5 of the pyramid and access to the Scottish Cup.

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As yet neither the Rose or Penicuik Athletic – who are leading Conference A – have been officially granted a licence. Bonnyrigg and Penicuik are still waiting to hear back on their application with the March 31 deadline fast approaching.

A statement on Bonnyrigg’s website said: “Under this year’s licence criteria it is now a mandatory requirement to have floodlights. This was not the requirement to have floodlights when we applied for an entry level licence in 2018. We are still awaiting a decision from the SFA board if we will be granted a derogation (a licence which will give us x amount of time to install floodlights), which can currently be granted to existing member clubs.

“We’ve started this process with the submission of a planning application to Midlothian Council in January (two weeks after we learned of the new criteria.)”

The club have three fundraising events including a race night at the Bonnyrigg Masonic Hall on March 30, a psychic night on April 19 and are looking for sponsorship for the Edinburgh Half Marathon, which club treasurer Brendan Parkinson is running on May 26.

The club added: “Any supporter or business that can help us out will be most