Scottish Government Awards Major Grant to Helensburgh Heroes

November 22, 2015 Posted by Admin - No Comments

Charity awarded £145,000 towards Heroes Centre Development

 The Scottish Government’s Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has today (Sunday 22nd November 2015) announced that Helensburgh Heroes has been awarded a capital grant of £145,000 towards its Heroes Centre Project.

A total of £1.7M investment through the Town Centre Communities Capital Fund (TCCCF) is to be split between twenty one town centre projects ranging from the renovation of theatres to revitalising high streets.

In announcing the awards, Mr Neil said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce this support for community organisations across Scotland. The £1.7 million fund will give enterprising communities the chance to take forward improvements to their area that complement our Town Centre Action Plan.”

“By giving community organisations the opportunities to take action we can help make town centres the attractive and accessible thriving places we know they can be.”

Phil Worms, Director and Trustee of Helensburgh Heroes stated: “We are delighted to have been selected by the Scottish Government for this significant sum in what is a very competitive environment. We believe that this Scottish Government award tangibly demonstrates the potential economic, cultural and social benefit that the Heroes Centre offers the Helensburgh & Lomond Community.”

The funds will be used towards the conversion of a former Victorian Railway Warehouse on George Street, Helensburgh, into a vibrant multi-purpose community facility and social hub – The Heroes Centre. The purpose built facility will offer a classic 50s diner, multi-purpose auditorium, exhibition space and a range of specialist learning areas. A highly experienced team of professionals from the media, digital, education, museum and business sectors has been assembled to deliver and manage the project.

Phil stated:” Over the past two years we have reviewed and revised our plans in light of changes both locally and nationally, but we have never waived from our original objective of delivering an innovative, inspirational and intergenerational social environment that will benefit every member of our community particularly our younger people.”

When opened the Centre will provide a wide range of services, available 365 days per year, identified as needed by the local community during extensive consultations, whilst giving people at all stages of life and small businesses, the opportunity to develop their e-skills, to fully engage in the digital world.

The Charity has long believed that this engagement can’t be delivered at a national level it must be nurtured and encouraged locally. The community model that the Charity has created is designed to be fully transferable and has the potential to lead to a network of Heroes Centres across Scotland.

Working with Glasgow’s Caledonian University in a ground breaking partnership, the Centre will provide an unparalleled range of vocational and formal training enabling the whole community to benefit from technology.  This will connect older and isolated people more effectively; encourage young children to consider taking ICT subjects at school, provide skills demanded by today’s employers, retrain/assist adults back into work, reduce digital exclusion and support small businesses owners.

At the heart of the Centre will be an inspirational three storey Wall of Fame which will celebrate the lives and achievements of many local men and women, both past and current from steamship pioneer Henry Bell to Paralympian tennis star Gordon Reid. It is hoped that by telling their stories others might be inspired to emulate them whilst at the same time providing the area with a unique visitor attraction to boost the area’s tourist aspirations.

Phil added: “This award is the second six figure sum that the Charity has received within the past few weeks having recently been granted £100,000 by a charitable trust. It certainly is an exciting time for everyone connected with the project.”

The formal Scottish Government announcement can be found HERE

Image shows Phil Worms, Director,Helensburgh Heroes with Dr Morag Ferguson, Glasgow Caledonian University at the planned Heroes Centre site, George Street, Helensburgh