ONE of Barrhead’s best-known landmarks will reopen as a community hub today, after lying empty for five years.

The James McGuire Building dates back almost 120 years and has had a number of prior uses, including a stint as a police station.

Now a new chapter in its history will begin as it opens its doors as a hub run by a local charity that helps people who have additional support needs.

The Include Me 2 Club reached a five-year agreement with East Renfrewshire Council to lease the building for £1 a year and will use it to provide activities for children, youths and adults with learning, physical and mental disabilities.

An estimated 5,840 volunteer hours have gone into the project since January 2019.

Paul McIlvenny, of Include Me 2, told the Barrhead News: “An incredible amount of work has gone into it, thanks to the volunteers and businesses that donated goods, money and time.

“There has been excitement and disappointment along the way but we’re really excited that we can bring this amazing asset back into public use.”

Part of the redevelopment has involved transforming the building’s old police cells into office space.

As well as hosting the club’s social enterprises and employability projects, the hub will be home to a coffee shop, gift shop and art studio.

Sparkle Pottery Art will sell goods there, as will local artist Bronwyn Gilgallon, whose digital art pieces range from highland cows to famous landmarks.

Other vendors whose products will be stocked at the gift shop include Edward Fitzpatrick Photography, AromaBar, John Rankin Books, Moira Findlay Jewellery, Thistle Wood Crafts Alba and Handmade by NGFergus.