Residents urged: ‘Sign up to save Sports Barn’

Birkenshaw Sports Barn
Birkenshaw Sports Barn

Birkenshaw Development Project has launched a petition in a bid to save Birkenshaw Sports Barn from closure.

North Lanarkshire Leisure is considering shutting the Fourth Street facility as one of a number of savings if it has its management fee from North Lanarkshire Council cut by £444,000.

NLL visited the Barn in November and met the Development Project, seemingly being very impressed about the positive work being done at the Barn and outside area.

The Development Project secured £120,000 funding for a new play area, with work having been expected to start in the next few weeks, but are now facing the prospect of the Barn being closed.

Scott Hunter from the Development Project, said: “We are extremely disappointed and angry to hear of the proposed closure of Birkenshaw Sports Barn.

“Birkenshaw Development Project has worked extremely hard with the local community to improve the barn, park and wild area and has secured funding to improve the facilities for all.

“We were just about to unveil the plans for the new play park and planning what we were going to do for its official opening at Easter, then we get this news.

“We realise in the current climate the council and NLL needs to make savings, but with the plans to close the bank and the information centre in Tannochside already announced it feels like the community is being dragged down.

“When we met with NLL last year they seems to be happy with everything we were doing, I just wish we’d known what their intentions were.

“It is important the community makes their voices heard in order to make NLL think again and to that end we have launched a petition and would ask everyone to sign it.”

To sign the petition click here

North Lanarkshire Council is facing a £21.8 million cut to its budget for the 2018/19 financial year, assuming there is a three per cent council tax increase, this will raise around £3 million.

The council already has plans in place to save £9.7 million from its forthcoming budget but savings of more than £8 million still need to be found.

Council officers have developed a range of saving options to the value of £14.7 million, that can be viewed at online or picking up an information leaflet from libraries, and are asking for the public’s feedback.

Drop-in sessions has been organised to meet with community engagement teams and talk through the options and Motherwell Library on Friday and Bellshill Cultural Centre of Friday, February 2, both from noon–2pm.

Council chief executive Paul Jukes said: “Everyone will have different opinions on how we make these savings, depending on how you use and interact with council services.

“It’s important to remember that these are options, not decisions that have been made. That’s why it’s vital that we hear from you. Your feedback is important and will help to influence how we make those savings.”