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December 2, 2009

Derelict shops given new life  

TV and radio star Tam Cowan turned up to cut the ribbon at the opening of The Connie – a 5000sq ft community run sports and youth facility converted from derelict shop units in Glasgow’s east end. Wellhouse Community Trust and the newly formed Provanhill Community Trust have been working together for months to create the new facility.

A COMMUNITY centre in the east end is celebrating after a £200,000 makeover.

TV star Tam Cowan joined tenants of Provanhall Housing Association to unveil a new mosaic at ‘The Connie’ – a 5,000 sq ft youth club and sports facility on Conisborough Road created out of derelict shop units.

Provanhall resident Eleanor McLaughlin, along with 10 other committed locals, has been volunteering for several months at The Connie – assisting with the set up and organisation and running activities. Today she takes up her new post as Support Worker.

She said: “Everyone is so excited about the new centre and what it will mean for them.

“The kids have never had a purpose-built place where they can spend time doing dancing, drama, sports and IT activities.

“We would never have been able to have done this without all the hard work of Provanhall Housing Association and funding from the Scottish Government, the city council, The Moffat Trust and GHA – everyone is really excited about calling The Connie their own.”

Speaking at the opening, Tam Cowan added: “The kids and volunteers in Provanhall have, with the help of Provanhall Housing Association and many others, turned a derelict and vandalised building into a fresh, bright shared place from which the whole neighbourhood can benefit.

“It’s a shining example to other areas – working together can have a real, positive impact on people’s lives.”

Patricia Gallagher, director of Provanhall Housing Association, added: “The newly established Provanhall Community Trust alongside Wellhouse Community Trust have been working closely with local young people for several months to create a central social facility in a safe environment which not only serves their needs but can also be used for other groups and activities to benefit the whole community.”

As well as the main hall, the new centre also boasts a learning suite.

Visitors at the opening ceremony were treated to special performances from dance groups who practise at The Connie and a special drama performance. The commemorative mosaic was designed by local youngsters as part of the youth club arts project.