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September 10, 2014

Healthy’n’Happy – happier still

The Scottish Community Alliance have long argued that one of the preconditions for a community to become empowered is the presence of at least one local organisation that could be considered a community anchor organisation. Community anchors can take many different forms but they share some common features: they provide some local leadership, they support informal voluntary action and they aspire to having an independent income stream. That often involves taking ownership of a significant asset. Looks like an anchor organisation in Rutherglen is about to do just that.


Douglas Dickie

 Talks have started that could see Clyde Gateway buy the old Rutherglen East Parish Church hall and hand it over to the local community development trust.

Members of the urban regeneration group’s board agreed last week to enter into discussions with Rutherglen and Cambuslang Housing Association – who own the building – about a possible sale.

If the move goes ahead Healthy ‘n’ Happy will own their own base for the first time.

It is understood all parties are confident a deal can be struck in the next few weeks.

Jim Clark, senior manager of communications at Clyde Gateway, said: “I can confirm that Clyde Gateway is in discussions with the current owners, the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Housing Association, as we are looking to purchase it from them and hand it over in due course to the Healthy ‘n’ Happy Community Development Trust.

“We are also looking to provide the Trust with some additional funding for refurbishment works so the building is both in their ownership and in the best possible condition for them to deliver their fantastic services to the people of Rutherglen.”

It is unclear how much a deal would cost, or how much cash it would take to refurbish it.

The building is located on Farmeloan Road and is connected with the Aspire Business Centre, which opened in 2003.

Rutherglen and Cambuslang Housing Association bought it with the church in 1986, and used it as an office before moving to the Aspire.

It is currently leased to Healthy ‘n’ Happy. Health ‘n’ Happy was established in 2002 as a community health initiative. It became a community development trust in 2012 and moved from Whitlawburn to their current base in May last year.

As well as health initiatives, the group have established Camglen Radio Station, worked on regeneration projects, incorporated a local NHS youth health service and established a social enterprise arm.

Trust executive director, Brendan Rooney, said: “We are currently in discussions, very positive discussions. It would be fantastic to own our own base.

“The building would be an asset and would be put towards community use and to support the work we are doing.”

The trust hope to run Camglen radio out of the building as well as “a range of new community activities.”

Dave Anderson, director of Rutherglen and Cambuslang Housing Association, added: “Talks are ongoing between ourselves, Healthy ‘n’ Happy and Clyde Gateway.”