Football club’s fresh hope to take on sports pavilion

The sports pavilion in Watling Street is no longer wanted by the council.
The sports pavilion in Watling Street is no longer wanted by the council.

A football club are hoping North Lanarkshire Council will finally allow them to build a home after two years of frustration.

At a meeting of the Education Committee the sports pavilion in Watling Street, Motherwell, was declared surplus to requirements.

A report from head of resources James McKinstry reads: “The sports pavilion has not been in operation for number of years. The building is run down and in very poor condition.

“The service has no further requirement for the building and site which are considered to be surplus to requirements.”

Other than a brief reopening to allow workers to make use of the toilet facilities during the Commonwealth Games, it is estimated the pavilion has been unused for 14 years.

Two years ago North Motherwell Boys’ Club approached the council to ask if they could take the property on, but were knocked back.

Now with the council officially declaring they don’t want it the club are hoping this is their opportunity to create a base within the North Motherwell area.

Club founder Andrew Ferguson said: “We are desperate to have a home within our own community so we would still love to take on the pavilion.

“I last spoke to the council about eight months ago and then said to come back in a year, I don’t know if they knew the site would be getting declared surplus to requirements within that period, but hopefully it will be good news for us.

“I started the team with a couple of friends as we had boys for 2003-age football and it has just grown arms and legs since there.

“We now have teams from 03-05 and get inquiries from boys and their parents all the time, but we have had to stop creating any more teams or bringing in any more coaches because we lack a home base.

“As we don’t have our own facilities everything costs more money than it should, we have to pay for block bookings for pitches at Ravenscraig, Cathedral Primary, Logans Road and Motherwell Miners to ensure we don’t lose them, even though our teams might be away so we won’t use them.

“We would love to have more teams and give local people the chance to go through their coaching badges and become a real focal point of the community.

“We have companies and organisations in place to offer us help, it is rougher shape than then we first looked at it because some kids started a fire, but are still confident we can pull it off, we just need permission to do so.”