ANGRY residents claim they are being priced out of hiring a community hub in Linwood.

There are calls for Renfrewshire Leisure to introduce “fairer” hire rates at the Tweedie Hall after it emerged community groups are being charged more than registered charities.

Tweedie Hall opened its doors in 2014 after being built by Tesco as part of a deal for a superstore in Linwood.

A number of local groups have quit the Bridge Street building, insisting they can’t afford the cost.

Among them is the Donna Brown School of Dancing, which after 17 years in Linwood is now without a permanent home.

Donna Brown, who runs the school, told The Gazette: “We had used Tweedie Hall for a few shows but suddenly the prices went up and it was just ridiculous. They even charged us £120 just to move a stage by three feet.

“All of these extra expenses added up and we just couldn’t afford to keep using it. These prices are not fit for the community and we’re in danger of being left with a beautiful empty building because the rates are too expensive.”

Linwood mum Kimberley Murray, 32, has met with Renfrewshire Leisure, the agency that manages the hall, to express her concerns. 

She said: “There are so many groups that have had to leave the hall because they can’t afford to use it, including toddler groups and Lego clubs. 

“The hall should be there first and foremost to serve the community but the people running it seem more interested in the corporate rates.”

Ms Murray’s campaign is being backed by Councillor Jim Sheridan, whose ward includes Linwood.

He said: “Fantastic venue that it is, Tweedie Hall is proving too expensive for local residents and community groups.

“What makes matters worse is local residents have discovered that multi-million pound charities are afforded discount rates for the use of the hall, whilst cash-strapped local residents and groups are charged the full rate.

“It also has to be said that this community hub is not near full capacity, despite its many attractive meeting rooms.”

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Leisure said it has “agreed to explore the implications and practicalities of introducing a community hire rate and report back to the local community representatives in due course.”