SPORT is set to take a major step forward in Bishopton after a recreation ground was upgraded and handed over to a community trust.

BAE Systems, which is behind the sprawling Dargavel Village development, has completed the transfer of Holmpark recreation ground to the Bishopton Community Development Trust.

The move is part of the firm’s pledge to improve facilities for sport and recreation in the Bishopton area.

And the trust said it has ambitious plans to create a major leisure hub.

Prior to the handover of the nine-acre site, which is currently used by the village’s rugby team, BAE Systems completed a revamp, including much-needed improvements to drainage.

To date, the firm has made payments of £200,000 to the trust and has said it is committed to further payments.

Now that the Holmpark ground is owned by the trust, the committee will have the option to apply for major funding from organisations such as the National Lottery.

Scott Wilson, trust chairman, told The Gazette: “We have ambitious plans to create a fantastic sporting and leisure hub for the village on this land and look forward to working with the wider community to deliver these much-needed facilities.”

Derek Mackay, MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, said he is delighted to see the completion of the handover of Holmpark to the people of Bishopton.

He added: “It is encouraging to see the trust and the development managers working together to ensure the community fully benefits from the development.”

BAE Systems has also confirmed that two sites within the Dargavel development will be provided to Renfrewshire Council at no cost to pave the way for the construction of 80 new homes for social rent.

The new homes are part of the council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan, with the first properties set to be completed by mid-2019.

Mark Reason, director of BAE Systems Real Estate Solutions, said: “The transfer of Holmpark is a major milestone in our redevelopment project in Bishopton.

“I am delighted the land is now with the Bishopton Community Development Trust so that new and improved facilities can be developed that will benefit the whole community.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire’s communities, housing and planning policy board, added: “We have been working with Bishopton Community Development Trust and BAE Systems to ensure all benefits from the development of Dargavel are provided to all residents in Bishopton.

“The transfer of Holmpark to the trust will provide a focal point for the community and supports our commitment to make Renfrewshire an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in.”