Douglas St Bride’s Community Group has been awarded a grant of £141,000 to buy property in Main Street where it currently has a charity shop.
The grant has come from the Scottish Land Fund - but the group has to wait to learn whether the Clyde Wind Farm will provide a similar amount, before the project can go ahead.
The group runs the community centre in the former school, with facilities for all sorts of activities in the village. Much of its funding now comes from the charity shop, also run by volunteers, in Main Street.
The group currently has a lease for the shop, and the grant would help it buy the whole property at 11 Main Street.
“This is fantastic,” business development manager Liz Steele said of the grant. “We are really, really pleased.
“It is an exciting project.”
And she explained: “We are renting the charity shop and currently about half of the money earned through the shop goes on expenses.
“But this is a fantastic opportunity. If we manage to buy the building the volunteers who work so hard will know that much more of their money, all of the money, will go to St Bride’s Centre to sustain its future.”
The group would also get the rent from the bakery in the other part of the property.
And in a future stage of the project, the group hoped to renovate the building, making it more attractive to shoppers, and to potential new volunteers as those working there just now find the conditions can be chilly! And with more volunteers, the charity shop could open longer hours.
Liz was full of praise for the volunteers, with 16 people keeping the shop open.
“They do such a fantastic job on behalf of the St Bride’s Centre, It is a good team, and they all work hard to keep the St Bride’s Centre going.”
And she added: “This is a brilliant project. As an entity the charity shop ticks all the boxes.”
It allowed people to socialise, supported the community centre, and gave families the chance to buy good quality second hand goods,”
And it would be a real community project: “Because St Bride’s Centre is owned by the community and 11 Main Street will be owned by the community, there will be a community consultation of what people would like.”
The Scottish Land Fund programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund. It welcomes applications from across Scotland.