New interest emerges in public sports complex at the center of private takeover battle

A second bidder aims to take control of a state-owned and operated sports center.

We can reveal that another group is eyeing the Ralston Community Sports Center.

There was almost universal opposition from the residents of Ralston to a planned takeover by the Kelburne Hockey Club in Paisley.

Renfrewshire Leisure has admitted that “another organization” may be in the process of making a similar offer to transfer community assets.

Kelburne Hockey insisted that other sports and groups could use the center if it fell into their hands, believing the main football field would become a hockey-only area.

Kelburne has expressed a “note of interest” in taking over the pavilion and its sports grounds as a first step towards a formal candidacy.

Meanwhile, the oldest user of the complex, the sports group known as the Ralston Skills Center, is calling for a new vision.

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The Ralston Skills Center has been in operation for 25 years and President Norrie Murray said the complex is vital in the area, the only local public space for physical activity.

Ralston center is popular but needs investment

The group – which currently has 75 children on their books – say they would fall back if Kelburne was successful.

Norrie Murray said: “We understand that £ 35,000-40,000 is raised each year through the rental of land, but there is certainly more that can be done, especially with the lodge.

“This is why we call on the Renfrewshire Council, including Renfrewshire Leisure, to work with us, the local community and current RCSC users to develop a vision for public space in Ralston and how best to use it. for the well-being of the community through open dialogue. supported by the passion to make things better.

Norrie called for a new way of working that could involve a large-scale community asset transfer, a keyholder agreement or a “hybrid” asset transfer.

Renfrewshire Leisure rents it out to Renfrewshire Council owners and a spokesperson said: “The Kelburne Hockey Club application is in its early stages. No decision will be taken on this – or any other potential transfer of assets – without public consultation.

“Local authorities and charities such as Renfrewshire Leisure are legally obligated to consider asset transfer requests from organizations, including sports clubs. The legislation sets out the process that must be followed for each application, which includes consulting the community on the applicant’s proposals.

“We understand that Kelburne has started working on his application and has conducted consultations with the community council, the community sports center, the local primary school and the secondary schools in Renfrewshire.

“We are following a process that by law we must. We fully appreciate the importance of the center to the community and will take this into account in any future decisions made. “

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