Plans unveiled for £15m regional sports village in Paisley
Proposals have been launched for a £15 million regional sports village that will drive the ongoing transformation of Ferguslie Park in Paisley.
Talks are under way between St Mirren FC, Renfrewshire Council and University of the West of Scotland (UWS) to take forward the development which would feature a combination of facilities supporting elite sports programmes and community participation.
The council is also working on a proposal to develop a new landscaped town park on the site of the nearby St James’ playing fields.
Around £7.5m in funding from the council has already gone towards the joint cost of both proposals.
Design proposals for the sports village will be developed over the coming months with local residents being given the chance to shape the design.
The facilities being considered include pitches for football, hockey and rugby; a cycling track; an indoor sports facility, and a new sports physiotherapy centre. It is hoped the venue will be in place by 2020.
Representatives of the organisations involved joined local children at St Mirren Park to officially launch the plan.
Mike Holmes, Renfrewshire Council depute leader, said: “We all know that Ferguslie has faced significant challenges over the years. I am proud of the positive changes that we are now seeing.
“This exciting proposal continues the wide-ranging efforts that are delivering meaningful change to people’s lives in this community.
“Building a 21st century regional sports venue will help to ensure that all our people and all our communities, including Ferguslie Park, can share in the regeneration of Renfrewshire.
“The sports village will be another step in unlocking the potential of Ferguslie Park. It will make the most of Ferguslie’s outstanding location though rail links and the close proximity to the motorway system, to establish what we hope will become a regional centre of sporting excellence and an inspiration to Ferguslie’s greatest assets – its people.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, principal at UWS, said: “The university, which is at the heart of education, culture and business development in Paisley, has high strategic ambitions for all of its campuses.
“At UWS, we are committed to delivering an outstanding student experience – both academically and in extracurricular activity such as sport.
“We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council and St Mirren FC to explore the feasibility of a collectively owned and run sports village in Paisley.”
St Mirren chief executive, Tony Fitzpatrick, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Paisley and will not only benefit elite athletes, but will help to develop home grown talent as we work to realise the potential in all local young people.
“St Mirren is extremely proud to be a part of this important step forward in Paisley’s growth during an extremely exciting time for Paisley, as the town continues with its efforts to become UK City of Culture 2021.”