Plans to build a state-of-the-art athletics facility in Renfrewshire have taken a step forward after councillors backed Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club (AAC) application for funding.

Councillors approved plans (yesterday 24th Feb) to allocate £500,000- in tranches of £250,000 delivered over two years- to support the development which will provide facilities for both elite and club runners across Renfrewshire.

Two of the clubs most high-profile members are Olympians Callum and Derek Hawkins who represented Great Britain in the Marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Jim Goudie, President of Kilbarchan AAC, said: “It’s fantastic that the council have agreed to allocate this funding which will allow us to take another step forward with our plans to create an indoor training facility.

“If we are successful, the project will benefit not only the members of the club but the entire Renfrewshire community and we’re determined to make it a reality.

“Having two Olympians come through the club structure shows the level the club is reaching and we are delighted to have Callum and Derek as part of our membership.

“They are inspirations for our younger athletes coming through and the proposed facility will help us support these athletes onto the elite pathway in the future.”

The club have embarked on a major fundraising exercise for the proposed £2.1m indoor athletics training centre- which is set to be built alongside the outdoor track and field facilities at Linwood’s On-X sports centre.

The proposed indoor training centre would provide the club with:

  • 60m running track;
  • Horizontal and vertical jumps;
  • Pole vault;
  • Indoor throws cage- including javelin;
  • Club room;
  • Strength and conditioning area

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, said: “We are committed to supporting our communities to have the best possible opportunity to succeed in the sporting environment.

“The successful completion of the development would significantly enhance the quality of the athletics training facilities available within Renfrewshire and support the continued development and success of Kilbarchan AAC.

“The club have a wide and varied membership- at both elite and club level- and the funding approved today will allow the club to advance their proposals to bring this fantastic facility to Renfrewshire.”

Scottish Athletics have identified the proposal as an important project within the National Facilities Strategy- which aims to provide athletics with numerous top class facilities throughout the country to maximise participation and increase standards of performance in all disciplines.

Chief Executive of scottishathletics, Mark Munro, said: “scottishathletics fully support the Kilbarchan AAC Indoor Facility project and have been working closely with them.

“If successful, the facility will improve opportunities for people to participate in physical activity in their local community as well as the overall development of the club and athletics as a whole.

“Kilbarchan AAC over recent years have proven to be one of the most progressive and successful clubs in the country and this development is crucial to them moving forward with an ever expanding membership and programme support to their local community.”

Kilbarchan AAC are currently in the Premier Division of the Scottish Athletics league structure and have a membership of over 525 male and female runners from across Renfrewshire and beyond.

The Club will continue to identify funding opportunities to source the remaining financial support required to advance the project to the next stage.