The Scottish FA has worked with various organisations in Cumbernauld to establish a state-of-the-art 3G pitch at Broadwood Stadium for the benefit of all.
£380,000 from the CashBack for Communities Fund – which puts cash confiscated from criminals towards socially beneficial projects – has been allocated to the new pitch.
Cameron Watt, facilities manager for the Scottish FA, said:
"The CashBack for Football facilities project at Broadwood Stadium is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when a local council, leisure trust and community football club work together in partnership.
“The opportunities now available to Cumbernauld Colts to develop as a club, utilising the facilities in and around the stadium, are massive. "
Local youth football team The Cumbernauld Colts received the funding grant following an application to the Scottish Government CashBack for football funding scheme to develop new facilities.
The scheme aims to return the recovered proceeds of crime monies back into communities to support innovative sports clubs.
The Colts investigated a number of potential locations, and chose Broadwood Stadium as their new home.
The club agreed a partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, who contributed £70,000 to the project, site owners North Lanarkshire Leisure, the Scottish FA and sportscotland, which provides the club with a wide range of dedicated and shared accommodation and extensive access to the pitch.
As principle funders of the new pitch, The Colts have access for training and competitions, with Clyde FC using the stadium for their SFL home fixtures.
Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure, said: “This exciting partnership will breathe a new lease of life into the stadium. With the new surface, we have now gone from being able to accommodate a maximum of 2 or 3 matches per week to being able to host numerous matches and training sessions.
“Every Saturday morning, will see around 500 young people playing at the stadium at all age levels.
"As well as accommodating Clyde and Cumbernauld Colts, the pitch will also be available for other teams throughout the area to hire for training and competitive matches.
“With around 7,500 seats available in the three all covered stands, the existing stadium facilities and the £9.5m leisure centre make Broadwood a fantastic sports hub for all the community.”
The Colts have also decorated the current away dressing room in the team colours, and created a new social area and committee room in one of the hospitality boxes, thanks to the support of an army of volunteers.
Stewart McKenzie, chair of Cumbernauld Colts, said: “This is a proud moment in history of the club. Having nearly folded in 1998/99, myself and a group of parents and coaches took over the running of the club.
“The CashBack funding rewards the hard work put in by many people at the club over the years and recognises that we were one of the first Community Clubs in Scotland to achieve the Scottish FA’s prestigious Quality Mark accreditation and we are now considering going for the next Legacy level Scottish FA Quality Mark.”
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Cash Back is an excellent additional Scottish Government funding stream and sportscotland has been delighted to be involved in the project with Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood Stadium.
"sportscotland is committed to developing a world-class sporting system at all levels and the new 3G pitch at Broadwood, which can be used for both football and rugby, will help to increase the number of children involved in sport and physical activity as well as widening the sporting opportunities for the whole community.”
The pitch was installed by local firm Greenfields Sports Turf Systems and is the same surface which is installed at many professional football clubs around Europe including SFL clubs Airdrie and Forfar.
Councillor Jim Logue, chair of North Lanarkshire Leisure, added: “I am delighted that the Colts have agreed to relocate this new pitch to Broadwood.
“It is amazing to think that young boys and girls just starting off playing football will now be enjoying the full stadium experience at such a young age.
"They will be playing on the same pitch that Rangers will play their away matches against Clyde this season.”