The return of football facilities at the St James’ Playing Fields in Paisley is a step closer after councillors agreed to award a contract for their reinstatement.
New modern changing facilities hosting eight changing rooms and office space for staff will be built on the site, known locally as ‘The Racecourse’, as part of a £2.7million investment by Renfrewshire Council.
In addition to the new changing facilities, four football pitches will be brought back into use and new walking path round the perimeter will be installed.
Following confirmation of the contract, work would begin in mid-March with works due to be complete by the end of 2024.
Community engagement will take place separately to this project to consider uses for the additional space at the playing fields, with potential options including an outdoor gym, community growing gardens or allotment space.
Councillor John Shaw, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, said: “It’s great to see this contract awarded so football can return to this well-loved facility once again as I know many local people have fond memories of playing there in years gone by.
“The new changing rooms and infrastructure will make it an attractive place to play football and it’s always great to see new sports facilities become available to the local community.
“I look forward to the works beginning on site soon and the council will continue to liaise with elected members and community groups on potential uses for the rest of the playing fields in the future.”
The investment builds on the ongoing investment in sports facilities in Renfrewshire, with the astroturf pitches at Park Mains, Johnstone, Gryffe high schools recently relayed, work underway to refurbish the changing facilities at Ferguslie Sports Centre, and the council is also working closely with Renfrew Victoria Football Club to support them with their Community Asset Transfer of a football pitch in Kirklandneuk.
In addition, new tennis courts will soon be in place at Robertson Park in Renfrew and Park Road in Johnstone, with the courts in Brodie Park in Paisley upgraded, and there are plans to improve the hockey pitch and running track at Linwood’s On-X Sports Centre as part of the council and OneRen’s ongoing support for sport in Renfrewshire.