GSC update: ‘A new community home for all’
There has been some well-intended yet inaccurate speculation around our facilities plan and we were keen to put all our many members and friends in the picture.
As Scotland’s largest grassroots football club we have an opportunity to use our scale to help local communities in ways which extend beyond football. Lockdown has shown us that organisations working together can really make the difference through supporting those most in need. We believe Giffnock Soccer Centre should play its part in this collaborative effort. Helping to promote mental and physical health and wellbeing; tackling social isolation and loneliness and delivering bespoke services such as employability and financial inclusion advice are just some examples of how GSC and our partners can help.
To deliver this we need a home. Over this last year we have been in discussions with Hutchesons Grammar School (HGS) to secure a site swap. The working plan is that GSC will take over HGS’s Auldhouse facility on Thornliebank Rd, Glasgow. In return HGS would take control of GSC’s existing playing base at Norwood, a few miles away on Dumbreck Rd.
The benefits to both parties are clear. Auldhouse offers GSC the home we have been looking for to deliver the out-reach programmes which will become the bedrock of a new Charitable Trust our club will establish. The existing pavilion and four grass pitches will be complemented by our plans to build two state-of-the-art 4G pitches on an area of dormant blaes on the site. Our firm aspiration is to make this Scotland’s best community sports facility which can be accessed by the people who need it most. GSC will retain the Eastwood Astro as part of the plan, delivering three 4G pitches making the club self-sufficient and not reliant on Council lets. In return HGS gain a playing base closer to their school which fits with their other investments in local facilities.
This is genuinely a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity. A unique moment to create something which will help communities for generations to come.
Although planning has been underway for many months, discussions are still on-going with third parties, including landlords Pollok & Corrour, and Glasgow City Council/City Property Glasgow to make this vision a reality. Crucially, we are also in key dialogue with prospective funders to make this happen.
The final details are still to be worked out and there are many hurdles still to overcome. To deliver something on this scale takes ambition, hard work and everyone rallying together behind it. We feel certain the ‘GSC family’ which extends through so many communities is well-placed to help us to achieve this.
We will keep you updated via our usual channels. In the meantime you can find out more via this short film.
Jim Docherty, George Boyle, Craig Inglis, Niall Mackay, Mark Thornton, Richard Laidlaw, Fergus Reid
The Giffnock Soccer Centre Committee.