A centre to provide support for people across Clydesdale suffering life-limiting illnesses is taking shape in Forth.
Officers at South Lanarkshire Council gave their expertise to work with the Haven and funding organisations to help the new premises become a reality.
The Haven offers free care, complementary therapies and information to people affected by illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, as well as supporting their carers and families.
The charity operates from bases in Blantyre, Wishaw and, until now, from a council flat in Forth.
Haven chief executive officer Janice Williams said: “Development of the new centre in Forth would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the Levenseat Trust, South Lanarkshire Council’s renewable energy fund and the Robertson Trust.
“However, the council also provided advice and guidance at every stage of the project, and this was invaluable.
“We are delighted that the Haven can now extend its services into Forth and rural areas across Clydesdale that face particular challenges in accessing local support.”
Councillor Catherine McClymont, chairwoman of the authority’s Clydesdale area committee, worked with the council’s estates officials to help identify a suitable, council-owned site in Forth, with its rent being set at a nominal £1 a year.
“I am extremely happy and proud to see what has been achieved with this new facility,” she said.
“I was approached a couple of years ago to see if I could arrange new premises and I worked with SLC to secure the Haven a long lease over the piece of ground.
“The ball then started to roll when the funding was obtained via Levenseat Trust, of which I am a Trustee, and the Renewable Energy Trust.
“I cannot thank the funders enough and I know they are extremely proud of the new facility and the legacy this will be for the area.
“This was an idea from Jessie Griffin who co-founded the original Little Haven and I know she will be extremely happy with the outcome.”
Some £169,083 was granted from the renewable energy fund, set up to distribute wind farm cash, to add to £340,000 from the Levenseat Trust, which puts tax credits and donations from recycling company Levenseat to good use.
Trust chairman William Haggarty said: “The directors of the trust were delighted to provide the major funding for the new Haven project.
“The worthiness of it allowed the directors to agree to make the largest funding award in the history of the trust.”
“The facility will provide much-needed services to all surrounding local communities and the directors are sure that the end users will appreciate their new surroundings. The new centre, built on a previously derelict site, also greatly enhances the appearance of the local area.”
Chris Walker, managing director of Muirhall Energy, said: “We are delighted that we could help towards the new building, knowing that it helps so many local people.
“We have been involved with supporting the Haven for a number of years now, and it is great to see the positive impacts that the money generated by wind farms can have in the community.”