Investing in Enterprise fund supports community soccer centre
Giffnock Soccer Centre will receive £250,000 from Foundation Scotland to open new facilities next year.
Giffnock Soccer Centre has secured vital funding from Foundation Scotland to enable the club to work towards the construction of two new 3G pitches at its recently opened GSC Auldhouse facility in the South Side of Glasgow. Offering clubs and classes for all generations and all abilities, the club currently supports over 1,300 local people who get involved with football every week. The club expects this reach to increase with the pitches opening to complement the existing grass pitches and clubhouse.
Giffnock Soccer Centre (GSC) has a remarkable history; established by a small group of parents over 27 years ago, thanks to the founders' passion, determination, and continued desire to give back to the area, and the Centre has grown to become Scotland's largest grassroots football club. Previously crowned Scottish Football Association's 'Best Community Football Club,' the club has gone from strength to strength. The same families remain heavily involved and are now supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and freelance coaching staff. Established as a registered charity, the team work hard to offer fully inclusive and accessible classes and groups for everyone in the area. All activities are specifically designed to support the local people's physical and mental health needs. This includes mini-kickers for age three upwards, a girls' team, a boys' team, women's football, over 35s, an Additional Support Needs team and the recently added walking football for older adults. The development of the Auldhouse site will cost in excess of £1 million and aims to open the brand-new facilities in April 2023.
"The contribution of Foundation Scotland and our other funders will allow us to unlock the potential of our facility at GSC Auldhouse. The creation of a new charity the GSC Foundation will be the centrepiece of the site to deliver social inclusion support alongside the local area. We have exciting plans to make GSC Auldhouse a ‘home for all’ and this financial support makes all the difference”
Jim Docherty, Chairman Giffnock Soccer Centre.
The club has experienced a significant increase in demand for its activities post-covid and has been looking for opportunities to expand. The £250,000 from Foundation Scotland's Investing in Enterprise Fund has enabled the organisation to extend its existing facilities into the nearby site at GSC Auldhouse (previously operated by Hutcheson's Grammar School). Half of the funding from Foundation Scotland is through a non-repayable grant, with the remainder through a low-interest loan. Foundation Scotland's social investment team prides itself on its relationship-based support and helps successful applicants to build and develop their projects.
“We’ve been working closely with the team at Giffnock Soccer Centre since 2019 and we’re thrilled that they have reached this exciting stage in their development. There is strong and growing demand for well managed grassroots football activities in Glasgow and surrounding areas. The £250,000 investment from Foundation Scotland will enable GSC to increase its reach to many more local people of all ages and all abilities, supporting the physical and mental health need of the whole community at a time when it’s never been needed more.
We will continue to support the team at Giffnock throughout the development of these important new facilities and can’t wait to come along to the first matches on the new pitches next year.
We know there are other groups that urgently need this support to get started or grow, and this is growing even more challenging in the current climate. We’ve invested over £12.5 million in 72 organisations across the last ten years. We are encouraging all interested groups to visit our website or contact our team directly to discuss their eligibility.”
Chris Holloway, Head of Social Investment at Foundation Scotland.
Foundation Scotland's 'Investing in Enterprise Fund' offers up to a quarter of a million pounds in blended finance to eligible social enterprises, community organisations and charities operating in 18 local authority areas.