ABC waits to hear about survey cash

Bellshill Academy playing fields
Bellshill Academy playing fields

Active Bellshill Community (ABC) Group hope to find out this week if they have been granted funding to carry out a traffic survey.

In February North Lanarkshire Council asked the group to carry out the survey in relation to the Academy Parks plan which will create a community facility on the site of the Bellshill Academy playing fields.

Following a visit to Edinburgh to see the work being done at Spartans FC, ABC applied to Social Investment Scotland for £10,000 to cover the cost of the survey.

ABC chairman Billy McQueen said: “The application was in two stages and we have been told we passed the first one, so now we are just waiting on confirmation that we are to receive the money.

“We are very hopeful, but you can never second guess these decisions. However we do have a couple of contingency plans in place if for some reason this funding source doesn’t work out.”

ABC have also applied to the Big Lottery Fund for the bulk of the £3.5 million the overall project would cost.

Four years on from its launch and having consulted with hundreds of local people, the current working draft for the site features two full-size 3G pitches, a turf presentation pitch, two tennis courts, two five-a-side pitches , golf nets, cricket nets and a community hub.

However, Billy says this is far from finalised and the group always welcome new ideas.

He said: “We want to do this right and we have to do it right the first time and part of that is making sure we give the community what they want.

“This project is for the community, by the community and by community I don’t just mean Bellshill, I mean all the way from Birkenshaw to the back end of Mossend.

“When I started I was really just interested in football, but now we want to see as many sports and clubs become involved as possible.

“We have had great feedback from the public. I am particularly keen to provide a place for disabled adults who really have nowhere in North Lanarkshire. I want to see a rugby team return to Bellshill after many years and I want to see less known sports being played.

“Someone asked about baseball, which was something I hadn’t thought about, and we’ve been talking to guys about American football. Who knows, maybe some people out there would like to play croquet.

“This project has lasted far longer than I expected, but things continue to progress and we are still utterly committed to it.”