A BARRHEAD charity has been awarded a huge windfall to help breathe new life into a landmark building.

Bosses at the Include Me 2 Club, which supports people who have disabilities or additional support needs, will turn the Gatehouse Lodge, in the town’s Cowan Park, into a community café.

The project was given a massive boost this week as it was handed £500,000 through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

Paul McIlvenny, of Include Me 2 Club, told the Barrhead News: “The focus for us at Cowan Park’s Gatehouse Lodge is to establish a range of services, including a coffee shop which will be part of our Social Blend enterprise, helping young people and adults with additional support needs, disabilities and mental health conditions into training and employment.”

Two years ago, the charity held a consultation to explore the idea of the building, situated at the entrance to Cowan Park, being revitalised and providing “much-needed amenities” within the area.

There are also plans to create public toilets within the park, as well as a space for groups to meet and a community bike hub where bicycles can be repaired and people of all ages are encouraged to get in the saddle.

“Our hope is that the park will become a destination, bringing people to the park to stay and play longer, to have these amenities available to them,” added Paul. “This funding is really good news and we will now start to talk about what the timelines will look like. We hope the building will be up and running by the spring/summer of 2021.”

Bosses at East Renfrewshire Council have also welcomed the windfall for the transformation of Gatehouse Lodge.

A spokesperson said: “This funding will allow us to create a community hub and social enterprise within Cowan Park.

“An earlier consultation highlighted that having toilets and somewhere to eat was a top priority for those visiting the park, so this will be a fantastic asset for the community.

“We will continue to work with local groups to finalise plans.”