Johnstone Community Sports Complex
After lying empty for four years and becoming a target for vandals, The McMaster Sports Centre in Johnstone has once again become a valuable community asset, thanks to the efforts of the local community
The McMaster Centre was closed in 2008 by Renfrewshire Leisure to pave the way for a development by Johnstone Burgh Football Club at the site.
After this unfortunately fell through, three local sports clubs formed the Johnstone West SAFE organization (Sport and Fitness for Everyone) in a bid to save the building and provide a facility that would be affordable by the local community.
Johnstone West SAFE contacted Engage Renfrewshire for help with making an application to the Big Lottery ‘Community Spaces Fund’ and they received a £157,381 award in February 2012.
The Lottery money was used to revamp and restore the interior of the building, clean up the exterior, which had been covered in graffiti, put in a new wooden floor and created a meeting room. The funding also paid for a part-time centre manager and part-time janitor.
Maureen McGinn, chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said:
This funding is part of the Community Spaces Scotland Scheme, which is all about bringing communities together around a space or place that’s meaningful to them and that, with some support, can be redeveloped or brought back into use. “This sports centre is a very good example of a space people feel is important. It will help the community become healthier, happier and more active. I’m delighted to see how the community has come together to support this project.
Since being awarded the funding the committee has been busy organising the renovation of the centre and ensuring committee members and volunteers have received the training they need.