Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Net gain for Gartcairn if Europark plans go ahead


A state-of-the-art community football hub has been included in updated plans for Orchard Brae’s ambitious Europark developmen­t.

The mixed-use developmen­t is proposed for a site along the M8 corridor, between Carnbroe, Calderbank and Chapelhall.

If passed, the plans would see a £2 million investment in a clubhouse, spacious changing rooms and a number of UEFA standard pitches. The hub would become the main base of Gartcairn Football Academy, and would be expected to welcome more than 600 young footballer­s every week.

Gartcairn Football Academy has been instrument­al in the design and layout of the proposed community football hub in order to meet its evergrowin­g membership.

Post-pandemic, the club has seen a surge of interest peaking at more than 800 per cent, with particular interest from young women looking to get into the sport.

Robert Mccallum, who runs the academy, said: “We are very excited by the prospect of a new home that will meet the needs of our young people perfectly.

“Sport is so much more than just competitio­n, it is about diversifie­d friendship, learning to work as a team, health and mental wellbeing and building confidence, so a hub like this would be ideal for the club and for its young people to continue to thrive.

“The overall plans for Europark bring together a strong sense of community through the country park, neighbourh­ood centre area, new school and the community sports facility.

“It has potential to bring investment, jobs and much-needed new homes, including affordable housing. We very much look forward to seeing these plans progress and hopefully come to fruition to become something the area can be truly proud of.”

Gartcairn Football Academy was set up in 2007 and is a registered charity in Scotland. Its ethos is “those who wish to play, shall play”, welcoming children of all abilities into the sport with the emphasis on wellbeing, playing and friendship.

The proposed community hub fits in with the updated plans for the Europark developmen­t, which includes 2350 homes surrounded by lush parkland. Sixty-six per cent of the developmen­t will remain green and the new country park would be the “jewel in the crown”.

The developers say their proposals support wellbeing and a strong lifestyle balance, while “protecting much of the woodland and heritage sites such as the North Calder and Canal which runs through the site”.

Steven Tucker, master planner and spokespers­on for Orchard Brae, said: “We are excited to include this new state-of-the-art football complex within our plans.

“Post-pandemic, we recognise the importance to create a developmen­t that has community as its very core, and this is something we have considered very carefully when revising the plans for Europark.

“We aspire to create a sustainabl­e place to live, work and play with a strong emphasis on wellbeing, community and carbon net-zero to meet the needs of 21st century living.

“We are confident that with the addition of the neighbourh­ood centre, creating the community football facility, a home working hub, health facilities, a care home, petrol filling station, hotel and restaurant, fast food, an energy centre, and a pub/ restaurant, that the mix is just right.”

 ?? ?? Main base Gartcairn would be expected to welcome more than 600 footballer­s a week
Main base Gartcairn would be expected to welcome more than 600 footballer­s a week

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