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Villagers are building Bridges at former library

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Villagers are building Bridges at former library

The former Bridge of Weir Library building is to be leased to the community for the next decade under plans agreed by councillors.

The building – on the village’s main street – has been run as a community centre and post office since 2011 by a group of volunteers.

The group, called The Bridge, took on the facility on a short-term lease after the library service relocated to the nearby Cargill Hall.

Councillors on Renfrewshire’s Planning and Property Policy Board this week approved a provisional ten-year agreement which will allow the not-for-profit group to continue their tenancy for a nominal £1 a year.

The deal will be the first to take place under the council’s Community Asset Transfer Policy – a set of guidelines over how to transfer council property to voluntary groups for productive purposes.

The Bridge (Bridge of Weir) Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation started out as an association of local churches, but was later expanded to include other community groups.

The facilities they already offer include a shop selling stationery and Fairtrade-branded goods, a second-hand book/DVD exchange, and a small cinema.

The group has also improved the property by adding new kitchen and toilet facilities, allowing a wide variety of community groups to use the venue for hire.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “We are pleased to be able to hand over a surplus-to-requirements property asset to a group of people who will be able to make best use of it.

“The Bridge group have shown themselves to be very capable in terms of running the facility for the benefit of the Bridge of Weir community and I would like to wish them all the best with their future plans.”

Paul Birch, chair of The Bridge, added: “The council has been very supportive – both the officials and the elected members – which we really appreciate.

“We are already working on a community garden at the back and hope to physically extend the building, which will hopefully increase the amount of usage.”

The former Bridge of Weir Library building is to be leased to the community for the next decade under plans agreed by councillors.

The building – on the village’s main street – has been run as a community centre and post office since 2011 by a group of volunteers.

The group, called The Bridge, took on the facility on a short-term lease after the library service relocated to the nearby Cargill Hall.

Councillors on Renfrewshire’s Planning and Property Policy Board this week approved a provisional ten-year agreement which will allow the not-for-profit group to continue their tenancy for a nominal £1 a year.

The deal will be the first to take place under the council’s Community Asset Transfer Policy – a set of guidelines over how to transfer council property to voluntary groups for productive purposes.

The Bridge (Bridge of Weir) Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation started out as an association of local churches, but was later expanded to include other community groups.

The facilities they already offer include a shop selling stationery and Fairtrade-branded goods, a second-hand book/DVD exchange, and a small cinema.

The group has also improved the property by adding new kitchen and toilet facilities, allowing a wide variety of community groups to use the venue for hire.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “We are pleased to be able to hand over a surplus-to-requirements property asset to a group of people who will be able to make best use of it.

“The Bridge group have shown themselves to be very capable in terms of running the facility for the benefit of the Bridge of Weir community and I would like to wish them all the best with their future plans.”

Paul Birch, chair of The Bridge, added: “The council has been very supportive – both the officials and the elected members – which we really appreciate.

“We are already working on a community garden at the back and hope to physically extend the building, which will hopefully increase the amount of usage.”