Scotland footballer backs Edinburgh amateur football team’s pavilion takeover bid

An amateur football team from an east Edinburgh neighbourghood are hoping the council will help them out in their quest for a permanent place to call home.

By Jamie McKenzie
Friday, 14th May 2021, 7:00 am

The Bingham Athletic Football Club has submitted a bid to Edinburgh City Council to take over the lease of the Bingham Pavilion and are hoping for a positive result next week.

The pavilion’s lease is currently held by a private football club which charges fees to join. However, the Bingham team believe people from the local area should have access to and ownership of the local resource.

Team manager Reece Taylor says it means the team has had to lead “quite a nomadic and precarious existence,” practising in places which “just are not fit for purpose.”

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Scotland and Dundee United footballer and local lad, Marc McNulty (dressed all in black), with members of the Bingham Athletic team.

Mr Taylor said: “As most people know, Bingham is one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, so it isn’t an option for most of these lads to pay membership fees or travel further afield to other areas.

“By gaining permanent access to the pavillion, the group will have the opportunity to practice in a proper area and play games which friends, family and the local community can actually attend.”

The club’s bid is being backed by Scottish international footballer and local man, Mark McNulty.

Mark, who plays for Dundee United, said: “As a budding footballer growing up in Bingham, I know how important it is to have something that is accessible, so, I fully support the bid.

“I hope that maybe some of these young guys can go on to have the career I have enjoyed.”

The club is being supported by Scottish anti-poverty charity Community Renewal who have been active in the area since 2016. Staff member Cris Thacker said everything they do starts with listening to what the community of Bingham, Magdalene and The Hays want for their area.

Mr Thacker said they have been working closely with the football club to write the bid and will provide ongoing support, should it be successful.

The hope would be the pavilion could be used for the whole community to meet socially and come and support their local team.

The club says it would also work with other local clubs and organisations so that they could make use of the premises, making it a community asset for Bingham.

Bingham Athletic Community Football club was established in 2017 and has 18 registered players. It has ambitious plans to develop male, female and walking football teams for the area.

They currently play in the Lothians and Edinburgh Amateur Football Associations League structure as well as friendly invitationals. They meet twice a week to train and then again on matchdays.

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