The loss of Johnstone Castle Learning Centre would be a “massive blow” to local families, it is claimed.

For years, people of all ages have benefited from services offered by the community hub, which is based in Pine Crescent.

However, a cash crisis has led to organisers revealing they can no longer afford to keep things going.

Various clubs, including youth groups, now face being left with nowhere to go, with the doors set to shut for good as early as next month.

Jean Gallagher, Johnstone Castle Learning Centre’s chairwoman and director, told The Gazette: “We have three paid 12-hour posts that we rely on to help run all of the youth groups and some adult groups.

“We used to have a lot of support when we first started out but this has become less and less as time has went on.

“The closure of the centre will not only affect young people but the entire community.

“There will be an increase in anti-social behaviour in the streets and there will also be a risk to kids out on the streets.

“If the adult groups ceased to exist, this could lead to isolation for older people who use our services.”

The learning centre is based within the Johnstone Castle Community Centre, which does not face closure.

It is run by a charity which relies on funding from various sources, which have previously included the National Lottery and the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

However, organisers have found it increasingly difficult to obtain funding for staff.

Jean added: “We hope Renfrewshire Council can support us with something in the short term and that we can work together.”

The learning centre runs a youth club three days a week, with around 50 young people aged between eight and 16 attending.

Staff also co-ordinate computer lessons for beginners, help people find work and stage activities for older people.

Councillor John Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, said: “It will be hard for these groups to lose this and it would be a massive blow to the area.

“Nowadays, it is becoming more and more difficult to get grants.

“While Renfrewshire Council contributes to the day-to-day running of the building, this does not include staff costs.

“The learning centre is such a positive thing in the area and so many people see the value of it.”

A council spokesman said: “We are aware of the issues raised by Johnstone Castle Learning Centre and are in contact with them to offer our support and assistance.”