THE long-awaited renovation of a community garden in Neilston is almost complete.

Neilston Scout and Community Hall burned down in 2004 after yobs broke into the Main Road building and started a fire.

The hall reopened in 2012 but the garden remained untouched.

Now, after years of waiting, 1st Neilston Scouts have completed the first phase of a garden restoration project in what is the group’s centenary year.

Anwar Rafiq, chair of the group’s fundraising committee, said: “When the hall burned down we managed to raise enough funds to rebuild it but the garden has lay unused for a long time. It was a real shame.

“I am sure our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will love our new community garden. Our hall is also used by the Guides and various other groups, so the garden will really benefit the whole community.”

The project was made possible after a final fundraising push which included receiving £5,000 from Barrhead Housing Association’s community funding event earlier this year.

Beith-based business S.J. Mitchell landscaping then got on board, with Chris Mitchell carrying out the work.

The space has been flattened to make it wheelchair accessible and turf has been laid so that Scouts can camp out.

Anwar added: “We are now looking to start fundraising for phase two to possibly build an outdoor classroom area into the bank at the rear, as well as enhancing our garden with railway sleepers and possibly even a small climbing wall.”