A CHARITY that helps people with additional support needs is to bring a vacant Barrhead building back into use.

Include Me 2 has reached a five-year agreement with East Renfrewshire Council to lease the McGuire Building for £1 a year.

The voluntary group will use the building as a hub for providing activities to children, youths and adults with learning, physical and mental disabilities.

And charity bosses will be responsible for carrying out repair and maintenance work to the listed building – which could save the council £20,000.

Council leader Tony Buchanan said: “I’m delighted to see this coming forward and, having attended a number of events and having had discussions with Include Me 2, I know they’ve been somewhat nomadic.

“I’m delighted they are happy to take this building on.”

The McGuire Building had been identified as a potential replacement headquarters for the council if the current Eastwood Park HQ was demolished.

But last month a plan to dispose of several public-owned buildings in East Renfrewshire was revealed, as the council aims to get rid of some of its largest properties amid workforce cuts, technological change and new buildings being constructed.

The McGuire Building was identified as one of those deemed surplus to requirements and, despite interest from Include Me 2, the deal wasn’t expected to be signed off until next year.

However, following last week’s decision by the council’s cabinet, an agreement is set to be finalised before the end of this year.

The council’s deputy leader, Paul O’Kane, said: “I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from Include Me 2 and they’re keen to have a base.

“I had occasion to speak to members of the McGuire family who were delighted at the prospect of the building coming back into use.”

As part of the agreement, the council and Include Me 2 will be able to rip up the lease after three years if it doesn’t work out.

The McGuire Building has lain vacant since 2015, having previously housed the council’s employability services.

In the past there have been calls for the Barrhead Post Office to be moved into the building, although those plans never materialised.