Community group take over school playing fields

Bellshill Academy playing fields
Bellshill Academy playing fields

Bellshill Academy playing fields are being given over to a ‘forward thinking’ community group in a bid to improve the town’s sports facilities.

The move will mean there’s a better chance of getting crucial funding to develop the site, councillors were told this week.

It would provide a new home for junior football club Bellshill Athletic, currently playing in the east end of Glasgow after losing their stadium in Hattonrigg Road.

But North Lanarkshire Council stresses the project is about more than football.

Head of community learning Lizanne McMurrich said Active Bellshill Community Group is aiming to create rowing, cricket, netball, athletics, fencing, badminton, cycling and rugby facilities.

She stated: “This is a forward-thinking organisation. Volunteers from numerous local clubs have given their time to develop the project. The group has an experienced independent business on board.

“The plans have been put to the headteacher of the school and several sport national governing bodies. All support the vision for the project.”

Ms McMurrich said no council money is earmarked to be spent on the pitches which are separated from the school by the town centre bypass.

She added: “The ABC Group has an opportunity to access external funding that the council cannot access.”

The council stresses that the new look facilities would be available to Bellshill Academy pupils as well as the wider community. There would be ‘affordable all day usage, from fun to elite’.

The council’s learning and leisure services committee agreed to declare the pitches surplus to requirements to allow the plans to go ahead.

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