A COMMUNITY hub which was set to close its doors after suffering a cash crisis has been thrown a lifeline.

Last week, The Gazette told how Johnstone Castle Learning Centre, run by an independent charity, was set to shut its doors for the last time.

However, more than 50 people turned up at a meeting to look at ways of saving the “lifeline” services it provides.

And Renfrewshire Council has also stepped in to offer support.

The local authority already provides funding for the day-to-day running of Johnstone Castle Community Centre, where the learning centre is based.

Councillor John Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, said: “It was decided that money that would be used for future rent would be loaned to the learning centre to pay for staff salaries.

“Applications for funding have been submitted to the likes of Cashback for Communities and the council also said it would provide written support for any future grants applied for.”

The learning centre, in Pine Crescent, 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 jobseekers find work and stage activities for older people.

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

To help, Renfrewshire Council has offered an extension on outstanding rental charges beyond the current financial year and the learning centre can use existing funds towards staff costs.

A council spokesman said: “The learning centre is an independent charity which applies for grant funding from a range of organisations, including the council, which has provided grant funding for many years.

“Since its board raised concerns about the centre’s future, we have been in dialogue and have extended an offer of financial assistance while the centre explores all funding options.”