A hall lot of hope
UPGRADING Barrhead\u2019s scout hall to a decent standard will cost around £160,000, it has been revealed.
The 3rd Barrhead Scouts and associated groups including the Cubs and Beavers were forced to abandon the hall last year as a continuously leaking roof became a health and safety hazard.
Since then they have been forced to travel between school halls for their weekly meetings, however, fundraising efforts have been given a shot in the arm thanks to a £30,000 grant from Whitelee Windfarm.
The group needs another £10,000 before builders can move in to make the hall safe for meetings.
The remaining £120,000 needed would allow the venue to be completed upgraded for use by the community.
Scout leader Janet Campbell said of the grant award: "This is fabulous news for the whole group and those who have helped us over the last couple of years.
"It has been difficult going since we had to give up using the hall and we just can't wait to get back into it.
"We want to make the hall more than just a Scout hall, and want to return the Scouts to a prominent place in the community."
The hall was constructed in 1972 and the Scouts have survived independently since then, surviving on an annual income of £5,000-£6,000 and dwindling numbers.
Over a year ago the leaky hall roof became so bad that it was no longer safe appropriate to occupy the hall, as dampness had managed to find its way into the electrical wiring of the building and has taken hold in the ceiling and walls, creating mould.
Paul Craig, chairman of the group, said: "Our group assisted by Paisley & District Scout Association has been working together to define the new vision for our hall and to consider how to fund that.
"We see the hall as being an important community asset, which will offer fantastic facilities not only to our Scout group but also to Barrhead.
"The plan for the hall would create a modern facility which is complementary to the other facilities within the area. The facility will be available for lets with in particular an emphasis on community groups and groups providing activities to the community."
Despite a resurgence in numbers to 40 members, and an extensive clean-up operation in April this year, funding still proved elusive.
Paul continued: "It's a great start to the regeneration, a great effort by all of the team involved and the funding from Whitelee Windfarm Fund will assist us in seeking match funding."
The group now intends to have the hall useable again by spring next year, with a view to completing the works throughout 2013.
Works needed in the hall are extensive, and include the replacement of the roof, repair and painting the outside and weatherproofing, rewiring, a new kitchen with multiple stations for cooking classes, bringing the access to the hall up to appropriate standards for youngsters with disabilities as well as a complete overhaul of the heating system and redecoration.
This article appeared in Barrhead News 12 Dec 12