East Fife FC’s boss believes commitment and financial help can characterise Bayview as the best community facility of its kind in Scotland.
Chairman Lee Murray and his colleagues are dedicated not only to reinvigorating the football club but giving Levenmouth an asset to be proud of.
Football, while a very important component, would be one element of what the club, the youth helpers, the East Fife Community Sports Academy (EFCSA), and others, were trying to accomplish, he added.
It’s hoped to provide a 3G artificial pitch surface at Bayview, additional changing rooms and associated facilities, a cafe and shop, and more.
EFSCA was driving various aspects of the development, said Mr Murray, with the aim of having the club effectively operating ‘24/7’.
“We are trying to build a real foundation of different things for the club to be a real part of the community – a real beacon,” he added. “We’re trying to build everything round about that and make it a great place to to meet and play football – and to be healthy.
“We hope to reflect all the good things about community involvement and make East Fife the best community club there is in the country.”
The club is hoping to make a case for a large share of money – about £350,000 in total – being made available by Fife Council for Levenmouth sporting ventures.
East Fife has been in conversation with various bodies and was due yesterday (Tuesday) to meet with Sportscotland in a bid to secure more financial aid for the 3G pitch, which will cost around £320,000.
Mr Murray hoped the talks would be successful and said there seemed to be a desire to put a good-quality asset in Levenmouth – which was on record as one of the poorest areas in the country and often to seemed to lose out to other parts of Fife on new facilities.
If possible, he added, it was hoped to have the 3G pitch in time for the new season, although the club would need permission to build associated new changing rooms and other features.
The surface would allow all-day and all-evening practice and training for a variety of community groups, which could not be done on grass.
The Fifers had turned to Spartans in Edinburgh for advice on its thriving community set-up.
“We’re trying to use that model and mould it into Levenmouth’s needs,” said Mr Murray. The club hoped local people would be both healthy and proud of where they stayed.
“If East Fife can be a big part of that, it’s going to be a phenomenal achievement,” said Mr Murray. On the field, with manager Gary Naysmith, the club was determined to improve its fortunes and was already planning for next season, he added.
Fife Council’s budget blueprint includes signficant investment in facilities and various chances for people to participate in sport.
A major aim is to improve the health and physical activity of Fife’s population.The local authority is committing resources to projects across the Kingdom, including a Fife Football Performance Academy . The proposed 3G surface at East Fife is part of that scheme, with a similar venture at Cowdenbeath, enabling youth development and community use. Top class football coaching for boys and girls is another aim, with liaison between the Council and SFA.