IT’S all kicking off at Barrhead Youth Football Club (BYFC) with a bumper £350,000 investment.

The largest youth club in Scotland had the cash grant signed off to build brand new changing rooms in Cowan Park.

This comes after their former premises – the Jonny Kelly pavilion – was demolished to make way for the new Barrhead High School. Now the club says the money will give it the push it needs to expand – and even consider starting a second junior team in Barrhead.

Speaking to The News, club chairman Graham Vance said: “This money will allow us to start making the most of the great artificial pitch facility that we have in Cowan Park. At the moment we are using two Portakabins for our changing facilities – which it goes without saying are not the best.

“The lack of showers and access for people with disabilities means that we are very limited in who is able to use the pitch.

“This money will allow us to build permanent changing rooms that will increase community participation and usage of the facilities available to us in the Cowan Park.

“It will really give us the capacity and scope to expand as a club and as a community resource.”

Plans have yet to be drawn up for the new facility, however the club will begin meeting with consultants this week, with the final location of the changing rooms expected to be close to where the Portakabins currently sit, next to the 4G artificial pitch.

The pitch is well used on weekends by both the BYFC and other sporting clubs in the area.

The club also hosts the largest youth football tournament in the country every year in the park.

The club hopes that this will attract not only more girl teams to play, but also see use from people with disabilities and more adults.

Graham continued: “The facilities are full of potential, and if we can fulfill that potential it opens up the possibilities for our amateur sides.

“They will be able to begin playing in different leagues – perhaps we can even look into the possibility of another junior side or lowland league team in Barrhead following the model set out by East Kilbride.

“This is the kick-off for a bigger plan.”