A COMMUNITY project which helps disadvantaged teenagers in Renfrew learn how to strip, build and restore bicycles will be bringing a derelict building back to life when it moves into a new base.

Kustom Kruizers, currently based in units in Station Crescent, will be moving into the former public toilets building in Robertson Park following a successful community asset transfer from Renfrewshire Council.

The project, which was founded by Dave Neill, aims to engage young people, often from troubled backgrounds, in bike maintenance through community workshops and partnerships with local schools.

READ MORE: Bid to open community cycling hub in Renfrew park steps up a gear

And while gaining vital skills to help them in later life, teenagers also get the opportunity to gain qualifications to further boost their employment prospects in the future.

Mr Neill said he is looking forward to getting up and running at the new base during summer.

The Gazette: The group will transform the toilet hub The group will transform the toilet hub

He said: “It’s been a long time working on this. We are delighted.

“This new base will give us more space and it will also give us the park, which is great because cycling is all about being in the park. We’ve been trying to get in there for a while and we hope to be able to run more workshops in the park.

The Gazette:

“We will have a huge outdoor working area and we hope to get involved with some of the cycling clubs. We are going to be running more after-school clubs. We work with a lot of kids who are struggling at school and it’s about giving them an alternative education.”

Kustom Kruizers is one group which has benefitted from the council’s £1.5million Community Empowerment Fund, which supports groups to develop ideas for underused buildings.

As well as leasing the group its new base, the council has awarded Kustom Kruizers £25,000 to transform the building.

READ MORE: Old Renfrew toilet block to be turned into cycle hub

Alongside that funding, BBC Children in Need has granted the project £22,560, which will help Mr Neill deliver the after-school programme, where each person will be given their own pre-owned bike they can learn to maintain.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “I’m excited to see this project develop and I’d urge anyone who has an idea for their community to get in touch.”

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