Pitch perfect in South Lanarkshire
W3ST (Whiteshawgate 3G Sports Trust) was established as a charity to fundraise, manage the build and maintain a 3G sports pitch for the local football and rugby clubs In Strathaven.
Fundraising began in 2014 with a grant for £300,000 from a Proceeds of Crime opportunity via Sportscotland and supported by the SFA and SRU. This was a joint application by Strathaven Dynamo FC and Strathaven Rugby Club.
The W3ST SCIO was established in 2015 to manage the project and the agreements, fundraise and manage all aspects of the pitch and enhancements such as new changing rooms post completion of the initial 3G pitch. W3ST then raised a further £310,000, leaving a shortfall of £60,000. This appeared to be an unbridgeable gap; the clock was ticking on the pledged funds.
The Trust then heard about Resilient Scotland and managed to secure a part grant and part loan package. This finally enabled to project to fully progress. Pitch construction began in mid-2016 and was completed in February 2017. The local football and rugby clubs have access to the facility, as well as the local community.
The Resilient Scotland funding of £60,000 was the final piece of the funding jigsaw. The grant of £20,000 was significant in filling the funding gap and reducing the loans, making debt servicing manageable.
The pitch is an all-weather pitch, and floodlighting was installed as part of the project. This has increased the availability of pitch time for the football and rugby teams. They can offer their existing members training facilities, enabling additional teams to be formed, and participation has grown to around 550 members. The quality and quantity of training and playing facilities have been a revolution for the town, its club members and the volunteers.
Examples of achievements which are a direct result of the investment in the new facilities include:
- Membership increased from 400 to 550 children
- 6 new teams were created:
- A girls’ football team (with 50 active players)
- A girls’ rugby team
- An over 35s football team
- An amateur (over 21s) football team
- A futsal team for under 14s and
- A young persons’ fitness club
The local primary and secondary schools have also made use of the facility for team sports. The local running club uses the floodlights in the winter months for its junior runners to keep them away from the streets.
Thanks to the support from Resilient Scotland, W3ST are not only running a facility that is fully booked but is the envy of many communities. Resilient also supported W3ST throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. W3ST can now look forward with confidence to sustaining the facility in what otherwise would have been very uncertain times.
The team at Resilient Scotland couldn’t have been more supportive in getting our community facility to this stage.
Grant Law, Director at W3ST
In summer 2021 W3ST is hoping to complete their changing rooms project. This project also received investment thanks to Resilient Scotland.