A Clydebank charity has revealed plans to transform a dilapidated building into a thriving community hub.

Flourishing Faifley (FF) is taking on the former Sports Pavillion, located just off Langside Street, in the hopes of transforming “a wee corner of Faifley into somewhere where everything is happening”.

The group signed a 25-year lease for the building recently after plans to take it over were approved at a meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council’s Infrastructure Regeneration, and Economic Development (IRED) committee in February.

Clydebank Post: Inside the buildingInside the building (Image: Newsquest staff)

Clydebank Post: One of the main roomsOne of the main rooms (Image: Newsquest staff)Tony Ercoli, founder of FF, told the Post he is “over the moon” and that the team are “choking to get stuck in”.

He said: “This means everything to us. Once we were up and running for about a year our dream was to eventually have our own building.

“For the past year, we’ve been working away behind the scenes with West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) trying to locate areas where we could take something on.

“We contacted Provost Douglas McAllister who then got us a meeting with a council officer and this building came up.

“We proposed what we were going to do and a couple of days later we put the paperwork in. The council got back in contact and said they were really happy with it and that it was going to go forward to a committee to make the decision.

“We’ve been granted a 25-year lease for the Pavillion and the two football pitches. We’re in talks just now to hopefully convert one of the pitches into allotments and the other football pitch will be used for events.

“It’s come at a time where community spaces everywhere are limited, there’s hardly anything in Faifley.

"Obviously the new campus will be up and running in 2025 but that’s going to be a community facility, not a community hub so this will bring a wee bit of Faifley back to Faifley.”

Clydebank Post: The kitchen area The kitchen area (Image: Newsquest staff)

Clydebank Post: The space is set to be transformedThe space is set to be transformed (Image: Newsquest staff)The charity, which was set up in early 2022, is currently based at The Secret Garden on Middleward Street.

Tony explained that the group will be keeping this space on and hopes to eventually create a “health and wellbeing walkway” between the two sites.

On a visit to the Sports Pavillion last week as FF were handed the keys the Post was treated to a look inside the building.

Tony highlighted that despite being out of use for nearly a decade the team are looking on the bright side of starting work to transform the space.

He added: “I’m just over the moon. There’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into this. We’re looking on the bright side of it.

“Yes, it’s an old building, and yes, it does need some TLC but a year down the line when we’re looking back on where we started we can’t really complain.

“We have big plans for here and everything is on the table right now. We’re looking into different funding sources to see if we fit the criteria.

“Hopefully we’re successful. The community have supported us from day one and things like this wouldn’t be possible without community participation.

“The community of Faifley aren’t shy from a bit of hard work and they are choking to get stuck in.

"The Secret Garden is only a five-minute walk from this site so we’re hopefully going to be able to link it up with a health and wellbeing walkway.

“It’ll be a wee corner of Faifley where everything is happening.”

The project to refit the premises is being supported by Morrison Construction through its Hub West Helping Hands initiative.

It has also received assistance from West Dunbartonshire's Provost Douglas McAllister and groups including West Dunbartonshire Community & Voluntary Services (WDCVS), Community Links Scotland, Caledonia Housing Association, and Knowes Housing Association.

A Morrison Construction spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be supporting Flourishing Faifley through the Hub West Helping Hands initiative, which supports local charities through volunteering, materials, and financial support from their supply chain.

“As a business Morrison Construction is committed to supporting third-sector organisations throughout the local communities we work in, building social value through the fantastic work they do.

“We are looking forward to working with Flourishing Faifley to maximise the impact of their activities in improving lives and the environment for local people”.

A WDCVS spokesperson added: “It's been great to see the progress the group have made and the really positive impact their projects are having in bringing the community together.

“We were delighted to be able to support them through the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund this year and look forward to working alongside them as they grow and develop.”

Provost McAllister commented: “This is really good news for Faifley. The work that they’ve [FF] done for the community over the last two years is absolutely incredible.

“It started off with their Secret Garden and they’ve just really built themselves up from there. Tony approached me to ask for help to identify a building premises a few months ago and I was delighted that we identified this building really quickly.

“It’s got fantastic potential and we’re going to transform an abandoned building in an area of the Knowes that hasn’t been used.

“It will really enhance the work that Flourishing Faifley already do, it’s so exciting for the community and this is what Faifley really needs.

“I will continue to work with them [FF] over the next year or two and offer them all the help I can.

"I want to congratulate them for everything they’re doing.”