A JOHNSTONE hub for people with learning disabilities which was under threat of closure has been given a new lease of life.

Previously known as West Lane Gardens, the base has been renamed as Paton’s Resource Centre as it recovers from a prolonged period of uncertainty over its future.

Last year, Capability Scotland (CS) said it would no longer be able to subsidise services at West Lane Gardens or the Whitehaugh Centre, in Paisley.

READ MORE: Families call for answers over closure of two ‘lifeline’ Renfrewshire services

The axe did eventually fall on the Paisley hub as CS withdrew service provision in April but West Lane Gardens was saved earlier this year and is now in the hands of Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) Community Networks.

The service aims to give adults with learning difficulties skills and independence at home and in the community.

Earlier this month, Special Olympic gymnast Andrew MacIntyre, who is among those who use the hub, launched Paton’s Resource Centre – a name chosen by the service users themselves in honour of Johnstone’s links to the historic Paton’s Mill.

Andrew’s mum Fiona, from Bridge of Weir, said that, while the past year has brought its challenges for those using the hub, parents feel positive about the future.

She told The Gazette: “This hub is going to be terrific. We are still in a transition period but Renfrewshire Council have been supportive.

“Any change is difficult for people with learning disabilities but this is the best outcome we could have hoped for and Andrew seems very positive.

“All credit to Renfrewshire Council, who have listened to people. We did shout loudly.”

Six employees from CS are now working at the new centre, with several more staff also recruited.

READ MORE: Everything in Johnstone's West Lane Gardens is looking rosy

Joyce Motherwell, whose daughter Lesley attends the centre, said: “Most of the worry came from just not knowing what was going to happen.

“It is so important that the service users have got to stay with their friends in the same location.”

Christine Laverty, head of mental health, addiction and learning disability services for Renfrewshire HSCP, added “I am absolutely delighted to see the transformation of this service.

“The people who use our services were involved every step of the way.”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond