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May 31, 2011

Bottom up at its best

21 years ago, a small group of tenants from the Gowkthrapple area of Wishaw decided enough was enough. Dissatisfied with the service they were getting from the Council housing department, they decided to take things into their own hands. The Garrion People’s Housing Cooperative was formed, followed by many years of hard work and sustained effort on the part of local residents. Last week, they celebrated another milestone in the transformation of this small, Lanarkshire community

Garrion People’s Housing Co-operative (GPHC) in partnership with McTaggart Construction has completed a new build Community Hub in Gowkthrapple

A grant of £835,000 from Big Lottery’s Growing Community Assets Fund was received for the project, with other funding supplied by North Lanarkshire Council, GPHC and the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land and Wider Role Funds.

The Community Hub, named Centrepoint, following a naming competition run in conjunction with Castlehill Primary School, is the first of three community projects part funded by the Big Lottery to be completed.

Centrepoint will provide facilities for use by the whole community including multi-purpose meeting rooms, a shop, a pharmacy and community café. It will also include office facilities for North Lanarkshire Council housing services staff and Garrion People’s Housing Co-operative. Lanarkshire Child Care Services will also provide a Pre and After School Care service from the Hub.

The project to design and build Centrepoint has been led by GPHC, in partnership with the Community and North Lanarkshire  Council. The hub will be owned and managed by GPHC.

There will be a wide range of Community Groups utilising the new facility.

Colin Smith from Routes to Work has commented “Routes to Work provides a quality advice and guidance service on behalf of North Lanarkshire’s Working for our clients in their local communities. The opportunity for our staff to meet clients in a facility of this calibre is both exciting and satisfying, and I believe it will enhance the experience of our clients.”

“Lanarkshire Childcare Services are delighted to be operating our new Out of School Care Service-LCS Gowkthrapple from the hub of the community in Centrepoint. We look forward to being part of Centrepoint and wish the staff and Management Committee every success for the future.” Noted Jacqui Collins.

Rona Alexander, Head of Programmes for the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Back in April 2009 we invested in a community which we knew had the enthusiasm, drive and determination to make things happen.  Now, two years on, it is wonderful to be here to celebrate the opening of this fantastic community owned centre that has been developed by and for local people. By owning and managing the Centrepoint community hub the people of Gowkthrapple will now have more control and influence over their own future and I wish them every success as they take forward this exciting new venture.”

Press release by
McTaggart Construction Limited
16th May 2011