Buying shop building a big boost for group

Charity shop Volunteers celebrate with local councillors, board members, Dave Knight from the Lottery and John Archibald from the Clyde Windfarm. Picture Sarah Peters.
Charity shop Volunteers celebrate with local councillors, board members, Dave Knight from the Lottery and John Archibald from the Clyde Windfarm. Picture Sarah Peters.

Volunteers in Douglas were celebrating this week after the St Bride’s Community Group bought the Main Street property that houses its charity shop.

The group has run the Second Glance charity shop for years, but much of the money raised by the sales of the goods donated was going out again on rent instead of supporting activities at the St Bride’s Centre.

Now, with ownership of the building, the charity shop and St Bride’s Centre have a more secure future.

The building, at 11 Main Street, also houses another shop next door and a three-bedroomed flat upstairs.

The rents from those, along with the fact that the charity shop will no longer have to find rent itself, means a secure source of income for the long-term future of the St Bride’s Centre, the community base the group runs.

A huge range of activites take place in the centre, a former school.

Liz Steele, also celebrating a year of being in the post of business development manager with the St Bride’s group, is pleased at the way the project had come together during the year.

“I am absolutely delighted,” she said. “Everyone I have worked or who has been involved in this project has been helpful, and the funders have been fantastic.”

The Scottish Land Fund sponsored the main part of the project, announcing a grant of £141,000 in February, and there was then matched funding from the Clyde wind farm and the community group’s own contribution.

The celebrations last Friday were a way of saying thank you to all involved.

“Now we are looking to make even more of the asset - but time will tell,” said Liz.