Football plan falls through

Plans for a new sports ground in Auchainairn have been scrapped after a charitable foundation withdrew their support for the project.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s scheme to build a new purpose-built community and early years facility in Auchinairn will take another step forward in the coming months when new draft designs are unveiled.

Designs work will further build on feedback from local people who attended previous community events and that of the community reference group, who have been key to shaping the designs in line with community needs and aspirations.

But it will no longer include a planned sports ground after Glasgow City Foundation - a charitable foundation linked to Glasgow City Football Club – recently announced their “reluctant withdrawal” from the project.

Revised designs, reflecting the removal of the sports pitch and football club element, will be presented for consideration at a future public event.

Councillor Rhondda Geekie, leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, is disappointed that the club is not able to continue in partnership with the council but is excited at progress on the new facility.

She said: “I’m delighted that we will soon see revised designs for this much anticipated new facility which will bring enhanced services to the area.

“Throughout the process we have been listening to what people are saying they want from the new building and I am confident that the end result will be something that local residents and groups can be proud of.

“Across the area, the council and our partners are creating first class facilities to bring local services to the heart of local communities.

“We will apply all the knowledge and experience we have gathered from building new schools and creating hubs and centres to this project to ensure that the people of Auchinairn get the best possible facility.

“Working with Glasgow City Foundation would have added value to our efforts and I am disappointed that they have had to put their plans on hold.

“However, I remain hopeful that the good relationships we have already established with them will continue to develop and should funding become available from Glasgow City Foundation’s on-going efforts then we would be keen to continue discussing opportunities for joint working.”

Glasgow City Foundation Chair Douglas Barnett explained why their ambitions to work with the council and its partners to develop the new sports facility and ground for Glasgow City Football Club have stalled.

He said: “After working very closely with East Dunbartonshire Council for the last two years on the project, it is hugely disappointing that we are now having to withdraw from our planned stadium build at Auchinairn.

“We have particularly enjoyed getting to know and being involved with the community at Auchinairn and having them help shape our project, which we feel would have been a real asset in the area.

“Sadly however, as the project has progressed estimations on cost are now greater than originally foreseen by everyone for our contribution to the project. This is something completely out with everyone’s control and is sadly something that can happen within construction and land development projects.

“We will be building a stadium and our relationship with East Dunbartonshire Council remains strong and we hope to still be able to work with them in the future.

“For the community of Auchinairn it is with deep regret our joint plans are now not going to come to fruition, but we know it will still be a fantastic asset that will be created on the planned site.”