Changing rooms are to be built at St James’ Playing Field, known locally, as The Racecourse, bringing the football fields back to life.

Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board are expected to agree a contract and award it to SKW Construction Ltd.

The contract will involve the construction of modular pavilions to house changing rooms for visiting football teams and has authorised the approved contract value up to £2,883,940.50 (excluding VAT). It is anticipated that the contract will commence on the 18th March 2024 and be completed by 28th November 2024.

This was one of the key projects to deliver a sufficiently robust and fit for purpose infrastructure at St James’ playing fields. The modular buildings will be used as changing pavilions on the existing St James’ site and carparking and landscaping are also included as part of the contract.

The news has been welcomed by two Renfrewshire SNP councillors.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren said: “This is good news for the Racecourse and I look forward to the new changing rooms bringing the Racecourse back to life.

“The Racecourse has a great history as the cornerstone of football in Paisley. There used to be plenty of pitches there but unfortunately a good part of the land was destroyed by the exploratory drilling for the proposed Glasgow Airport Rail Link when Labour were in power.

“It’s taken a while to get the green light on this investment, but it will be welcomed by everyone who has memories of playing at the Racecourse – including myself.”

Mags MacLaren added: “There was an issue with the original plans to build the changing rooms pavilion due to the massive surge in building costs since Brexit and Covid. However, the council has found additional funds to ensure that this project goes ahead.

“Here’s hoping that bringing football back to the Racecourse can unearth some new footballing talent – especially if they sign up for St Mirren!”

Headline image: A detailed drawing of how the St james Playing Fields redevelopment will look

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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