A COMMUNITY hub in a Barrhead park is set to open soon after a Scottish Government grant helped to cover increased costs.

Funding for a Cowan Park enterprise and community centre was initially secured from the government’s regeneration capital grant fund.

However, rising costs left East Renfrewshire Council with a £228,700 shortfall until government officials agreed to provide an extra £200,000.

It involves renovating the derelict Cowan Park gate lodge, including a workshop, office and meeting space, public toilets, kitchen and cafe.

The hub will be managed by charity Include Me 2 Club, which provides services for people with additional support needs, disabilities and mental health issues.

A council official said: “The lodge at Cowan Park has been derelict for a long, long time and doesn’t provide a very welcoming entrance to the park.

“We’ve been looking at trying to improve the park for quite a while now. What we’re trying to do is create an enterprise and community hub.”

Speaking at an East Renfrewshire cabinet meeting, he added: “It will be open quite soon, I think it is intended to open in June. It’s slightly delayed but this will be a fantastic facility for Barrhead.”

The original £890,000 contract was covered by £499,000 from the regeneration fund and a council contribution of £391,000. However, due to “external factors,” there has been an increase in contract costs, with an extra £228,700 required.

The Scottish Government has agreed to cover £200,000 of the increase, with the council paying £28,700.

The total project cost is now £1.12million.

Councillors were told the increase was due to several factors, including a collapsed main sewer which needed to be rerouted and enhancements such as more disabled car parking.