Laying the ground work

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SPORTING facilities in East Renfrewshire are in fine fettle after a £219,000 cash injection.

Footballers across East Ren will receive a welcome boost thanks the investment by sportscotland.

The funding is part of a £589,000 project which will see a full-size 3G pitch with fencing and floodlighting built behind Eastwood Park leisure centre.

The balance of the cost will be paid for by Giffnock Soccer Centre and East Renfrewshire council.

Coaching of GSC’s 900 youth players by more than 160 volunteer coaches will be revolutionised thanks to the investment.

St Ninian’s high school and other community groups will also be able to use the facility.

Chair of sportscotland Louise Martin said: “We are delighted to be supporting this thriving local football club with its plans to develop a new 3G pitch, which will undoubtedly become a real asset to the whole community.

“Sportscotland is committed to maximising the opportunities for children and young people to be involved in sport, and this investment shows our commitment to help develop and support a world-class sporting system at all levels, which will inspire future generations to be the best they can be.”

Bernie Airlie, chairman of Giffnock Soccer Centre, told The Extra: “We are delighted to receive this support from sportscotland.

“The club has ambitious plans for the coming year, including creating new sections for both adults and disability football as well as growing our girls’ section and extending our Saturday Soccer Centre to pupils of secondary school age.

“We would not be able to realise these plans without the new facility, so we can only thank both sportscotland and East Renfrewshire council for all the assistance and support they have given us.”

It’s the latest in a spate of good news for East Ren sports as, later this year, work is set to begin on a £502,000 synthetic surface at St Ninian’s high school, replacing the outdated blaes pitch.

Meanwhile, Mearns Castle high school’s pitch was replaced with a new 3G synthetic carpet late last year.

ERC councillor Mary Montague added: “The new all-weather pitch will be a terrific asset for the pupils of St Ninian’s high school, Giffnock Soccer Centre, and the wider community.

“Ensuring first-class sports facilities are provided is of paramount importance to the council, so we are delighted to play our part in delivering this state-of-the-art pitch.”