Charities sought to help revamp landmark former factory

Michael sinclair

The old H Morris & Company factory is set to become a hub for grassroots sports, after a charity took control of the imposing structure

10th September 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Charities are being invited to join an ambitious project to bring an historic former factory back into use.

H Morris & Company produced furniture in Glasgow for more than a century, ranging from school desks to luxury pieces for transatlantic cruise ships.

A community was built round the imposing furniture factory in Raithburn Avenue. Castlemilk, however the building has been out of use for more than a decade with the firm eventually stopping production in 2015.

But now the community is set to benefit from the giant structure again with a charity planning to use the building to create a healthier and happier population.

i-Touches is aiming to use the factory as a huge community sports facility, with the goal of creating an area that is accessible to everyone who lives in the local area.

Dubbed The Foundation, the 300,000 square foot building is aiming to become the home of community football in the west of Scotland.

“Robert Morris, the owner of H Morris, gave the building to us, which was great as we didn’t have to pay a single penny,” said i-Touches’ Michael Sinclair.

“The majority of people who lived in this area worked in this building, and it is very important to the area. We want to recreate it as a building that the community can enjoy, and maybe kids in the area could end up working here one day.”

The charity took on the building around two years ago, and since then has worked to develop a plan for the mammoth redevelopment.

A dirt biking track and laser-tag arena have already been created at the venue, with plans for football pitches and other games moving forward.

And now partners are being sought to utilise the vast amount of space at the site and create a wider offering of sports and activities for the community.

“We wanted to take on a building with great potential, where we could develop it and see what we could do,” said Sinclair.

“We visited the building and it was massive, daunting, but the layout is quite simple and there is so much that can be done with it.

“We think this is a great space for organisations in the third sector to develop, and create something really special.”

“The building is huge, it’s between three to four times the size of a football pitch. The aim is to get between six and 14 different charities collaborating in this space.

“We want to create great projects for the community, there’s a simplicity to the project. We are already working with different people and think the building can offer so much in terms of health and wellbeing, employability and tackling social isolation.”

The project aims to create a facility which is focused on enjoyment, rather than competitive sports, in a bid to reach out to the young people who give up on organised sports in their early teens.

“There are statistics that show that the majority of children give up on organised sports between the ages of 13 and 16," Sinclair added. 

“This is perhaps because they lose the love of sport: either it becomes too institutionalised for them, they are told they are not good enough at it so they give up or they simply no longer enjoy it.

“What we are aiming to do is create an arena for sports which is focused on enjoyment, not just for young people but for their parents too.”

Those who are interested in getting involved can attend an event that will showcase the building, which takes place at The Foundation building between 11am and 1pm on Thursday 19 September. For more information and to RSVP, email [email protected]