01 February
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Council officers are recommending that a statutory eight-week community consultation over plans to lease the pavilion to Bathgate Thistle Community Football Club (BTCFC) is approved by Council Executive at their meeting on Tuesday 6 February. 

Meadowpark is recognised by the council as common good property and the pavilion was specifically built to complement the adjacent football pitches. It has four team changing rooms and shower facilities, as well as toilets and referee changing room. 

BTCFC are the largest sports club in Bathgate and one of the largest in West Lothian. They were named as Best Community Football Club 2023 by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and have over 400 registered players across their 22 boys and girls teams across various age groups.

The club has experienced rapid growth in their membership for girls football in particular and wish to use the pavilion and pitches to meet increased demand. 

If given the five-year Full Repairing and Insuring Community Benefit lease, BTCFC would seek to identify further potential funding opportunities to improve facilities at Meadowpark, and have already held initial discussions with the SFA. 

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: "The pavilion at Meadowpark is currently significantly underused as an asset for the community.

"If approved, the community consultation would ask for local views on the proposal to lease the Meadowpark pavilion to Bathgate Thistle Community Football Club to help them meet growing demand."

Part of the pavilion is currently used by Bathgate Amateur Weightlifting Club (BAWC), who, in conjunction with Bathgate Community Centre Management Association (BCCMA), have also submitted an offer to lease the building.

BAWC moved to the pavilion in 2011 after their former home at Bathgate Community Centre closed. They currently use two of its four changing rooms as informal exercise space on an ad-hoc basis.
Discussions between council officers, BTCFC, BCCMA, BAWC and the Friends of Meadow Park group explored a number of different options for sharing the pavilion, but nothing could be agreed that would meet the needs of both clubs. 

A number of alternative proposals for BAWC were also put forward, including an alternative site in East Whitburn, none of which were considered suitable by BAWC. 

Officers are recommending that a further report on the outcome of the proposed community consultation should be brought to the Council Executive on 7 May 2024,  at which time a decision would be sought on the future use of the pavilion.