A JOHNSTONE charity hopes to be settled in a new home this time next year after securing funding to buy the town’s old police station and transform it into a community-led health and wellbeing hub.

Active Communities, which is based across three units in Quarry Street, has been granted almost £200,000 by the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) to buy the disused building.

The charity started out 15 years ago as a Paisley-based walking and jogging group but has grown to deliver community sport, health and wellbeing classes to hundreds of people each week.

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And staff and volunteers hope to be able to use the new hub for a variety of physical activities and sessions focusing on mental health and wellbeing, along with cookery and healthy eating classes.

There will also be scope for other community groups to hire space at the hub.
Susan McDonald, Active Communities manager, said: “We’re delighted to receive this grant as, if we didn’t get this one, it would’ve scuppered the whole thing.

“This will allow us to purchase the building. We managed to get 20 per cent off the market price because of the community-led element.

“We have about £500,000 set aside for things like strip-down works and some demolition on the inside to create the space we need.

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“Then we’re just waiting on three or four more funding decisions and, hopefully, they will pay for the renovation works.”

The SLF is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund.

Groups across the country shared £1.3million from the fund, with Active Communities receiving one of the largest chunks of cash.

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