Banking on Neilston

The newly refurbished Bank building in Neilston has become a lively cultural centre of the village that offers a range of activities and workshops to local residents and serves as the base for the Neilston Development Trust.

On 13 December 2011 Alex Neil, Secretary for Infrastructure & Capital Investment officially opened The Bank and enthusiastically spoke of the day before when at the launch of the new regeneration strategy for Scotland he had heralded Neilston Development Trust as an exemplar of community led regeneration; kind and very well deserved words that reflect over six years of hard work by the Neilston community.Alex Neil opening The Bank in Neilston

When the local bank branch closed in Neilston, the community took action and in 2006 successfully achieved a community buy out of the main street building.  An initial temporary refit was completed and the building was opened up for community. But Neilston Development Trust knew that if the facilities were to be a true benefit to the local residents then a major redesign and refurbishment programme was required.  That’s when Community Links Scotland became involved.  We have successfully worked with the Trust to help them secure approximately £550,000 for their refurbishment programme and £200,000 for their operational costs from a total of eight different funders.  Of course, having that many funders can make for a very complicated programme of spend; making sure that you claim the right cash from the right people at the right time with the right paperwork! So we also assisted the Trust throughout the construction phase managing their grants claims, keeping the spending on track, liaising with the design team and contractors and importantly making the funders happy.

The new Bank building is now able to offer the local Neilston community a variety of services, activities, volunteering and employment opportunities as well as rooms for hire and a community cafe.

 

Filed Under: Project Development

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