CLYDEBANK Rugby Club’s head coach David Miller says receiving planning permission for a new £3.1m state-of-the-art facility that will replace the old pitch is ‘one of the biggest things to happen in the club’s history.’

The plans to completely redevelop their ground, which will contain a new 3G artificial pitch with floodlights, several training pitches and completely new buildings and car parking area, got the green light at the end of May.

The planned Clydebank Community Sports hub will be used by several other clubs, with Kilpatrick Football Club, Glasgow Gaels and Clydebank GTF Taekwon Do all set to benefit.

The facility has received significant financial backing from various organisations.

The Scottish Government has invested £1m, West Dunbartonshire Council is giving £850,000, sportscotland £500,000 and a further £300,000 is being provided by the Gaelic Athletic Association.

Miller said: “To get the chance to actually train and play at a top class facility is something that makes us so proud.

“And its not just for the rugby club but the other partners as well – the Glasgow Gaels, the tae kwon do and the football club Kilpatrick, so its just amazing.

“Its one of the best things that’s happened to the town not just the club, so we’re really looking forward to it.”

The sports hub plans to partially demolish one of the buildings currently at the site, and the new building will be around double the size of the current clubhouse.

The work is planned to take place towards the end of the year and the rugby club are hopeful they will be able to use the facility towards the end of 2017.

Miller added: “We’ve been at Clydebank for years and if you see the state of the clubhouse just now as it is – well, we’ve been fixing it on an ad-hoc basis for a long time now.

“We need to find somewhere to play in the meantime, which is going to be a challenge but it’s really exciting for it to happen to us.

“This is just the start. It’s not just for us, it’s for everybody and the town – and that’s probably one of the best things about it.”

Speaking previously to the Clydebank Post, West Dunbartonshire Councillor Patrick McGlinchey said: “This council is committed to making West Dunbartonshire a better place to live, work and visit.

“We want to improve the wellbeing of our communities and sport has an important role to play in that. The project at Whitecrook will improve community and sports facilities and regenerate the area.”

The new facilities will include a large all-weather synthetic pitch suitable for rugby, football and Gaelic football as well as two smaller grass pitches.

The size of the new artificial pitch will mean that the blaes running track currently at the ground will be removed as it is no longer used for sporting events.

The clubhouse is also currently used for various social events, dance clubs and a dog training club.

Peter Hessett, head of legal, democratic and regulatory services at West Dunbartonshire Council said: “The promotion of community sports hubs are encouraged by the Scottish Government as a way of encouraging people to engage in sport and to promote a healthier lifestyle.

This is the first community sports hub for the West Dunbartonshire area and involves significant investment for the Whitecrook area and the wider area.”