Plans to regenerate a run-down sports pavilion in Renfrew have been given a major boost after £50,000 was approved for the project.
The cash injection from Renfrewshire Council’s Community Empowerment Fund will go towards the refurbishment of Kirklandneuk Pavilion, which was first built in 1976.
The building, used by Renfrew Victoria Youth Football Club, has been in dire need of improvement works for some time.
Elected members, who applauded the Vics’ “confidence and initiative” in making an application, agreed to award the cash at Tuesday’s Communities and Housing Policy Board.
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, SNP member for Renfrew North and Braehead, said she was “delighted” to see the club land the funding.
She added: “As well as running more training sessions and games than you could count, the Vics have built up a really strong place in the community over their many years at Kirklandneuk Park.
“They’re really keen to develop out their girls team, which I think is brilliant.
“They’ve done loads of internal work to the pavilion already and, having spoken to Stuart Wild about it fairly recently, I know the eco-lighting project and the separation in the electrical supply is crucial to their next steps, so I’m just really delighted to see this.”
Councillor Iain McMillan, Labour member for Johnstone South and Elderslie, added: “Being involved in youth football myself, I know how important it is to have decent facilities in terms of changing.
“Kirklandneuk is an excellent facility, it really is. [It has] good quality pitches and it’s very popular among teams outwith the Renfrew area as well — you’re quite happy if you manage to get a game down there.
“But, like a lot of these pitches, the changing rooms leave a lot to be desired.
“That’s the story throughout not only Renfrewshire but Scotland as well, so I’m delighted the club have found the time, confidence and initiative to do this.”
Councillor Marie McGurk said: “You’re absolutely right and it is a smashing place.
“My son often scored plenty of goals for his team, so I was one of the mums at the side — I didn’t shout but, no, congratulations to the club.”
Documents, which were submitted to the policy board, said the project would support the club as it starts a girls section and strives to grow it to the level of its boys group.
Stuart Wild, the club’s chairman, who said the club began canvassing for female players around three months ago.
There are currently 30 girls training with them, with a view to two teams entering the league next month.
Mr Wild said last week: “We need to invest to get the club house up to a standard that is of a benefit to both us and the community.
“It would mean a great deal because it would allow us to continue to grow the club. We have more than 200 members, including coaches, at the moment.
“The take-up for girls’ football has been phenomenal. It’s possibly due to the exposure from the Euros.
“It would be ideal timing to get this over the line. It would create a facility that the whole community would be proud of.”
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