Glasgow sports grounds could be handed over to community groups

Sports facilities in Pollok and Shettleston could be rented out as the council seeks to offer control of more venues to community organisations.

Talks on leases for the Nethercraigs sports complex on Corkerhill Road and the Greenfield football center on Duror Street will begin if the proposals win council approval on Thursday.

Pollok United Nethercraigs Community Interest Company and Shettleston Community Sports Trust are the two organizations considering taking over the facilities.

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The deals are being considered as part of the council’s People Make Glasgow Communities scheme, which gives third sector groups and community organizations the chance to have a greater say in running the venues.

At the Nethercraigs Sports Complex, there is an 11-sided lighted outdoor 3G pitch, three grass football pitches and a grass rugby pitch. There are also four five-sided courts, an athletics track, a multipurpose play area, gym and dance studios, and locker rooms.

The indoor facilities are currently owned by the council and managed by Glasgow Life, while the outdoor grounds are managed by Pollok United Nethercraigs CIC as part of a community activation pilot project. A nearby skate park would continue to be run by the council.

The pilot began in October 2020 and was set up to allow clubs to use the facility during the pandemic, with Pollok handling bookings, maintenance, communications and marketing. The company has also managed and maintained the grounds at the Dennis Donnelly Center since 2013, and at the Corkerhill Community Centre, including cafe, office and community space, since 2019.

A council report said: “Pollok has been providing football, aerobic exercise, cycling and education and charity activities since 2006. Since inception they have evolved to take a more community centered approach to their programming and activities, growing from a football club to a sports charity.

The report adds: “It is envisaged that the club will provide a base for Pollok to extend its services and support to the local community. They also intend to maintain access to other groups and schools.

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“Pollok intends to secure all required investment costs through grants and is currently working with advisors in terms of business planning and financing strategies.”

The Greenfield Football Center consists of an 11-sided floodlit outdoor 3G pitch and seven 9-sided grass football pitches as well as a pavilion with dressing rooms. It is council owned and leased to Glasgow Life.

Like at Nethercraigs, the trust is operating the soccer center as part of a community activation pilot, allowing access to groups that used the facilities before the covid pandemic.

Glasgow Utd, formerly Shettleston Juniors, fall under the trust and play in Conference B of the West of Scotland Football League. The board’s report says the club have ambitions to “evolve the Scottish FA pyramid scheme”.

He added: “As well as the first team, Glasgow Utd have a thriving Kids Academy, now registered as a charity. They are firmly established in the community and have worked in partnership in the development and delivery of various community initiatives including: a community food bank; community shop; apprenticeship programs for local youth who are not in education, training or employment; daytime activities for local seniors’ groups; foot football project for local men over 50 and football camps for local primary school children.

The trust also runs and maintains its stadium on Old Shettleston Road and a social club. Both organizations intend to secure all required investment costs through grants and are currently working with advisors in terms of business planning and funding strategies.

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