£1m Award To Help Grow Inverclyde Garden Hub

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£1m Award To Help Grow Inverclyde Garden Hub

Pictured alongside staff and service users are manager Sharon Gemmell, far right, and councillors Michael McCormick, second from left, Stephen McCabe, second from right, and Chris Curley, far left.

A successful Inverclyde horticultural organisation is set to grow after securing over £1 million to regenerate its base.

Inverclyde Council has teamed up with Parklea Branching Out (PBO) to redevelop the charity’s Port Glasgow facility into a multi-purpose community hub.

The project has been awarded £1.1 million from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) 2022/23 to bring the plans to fruition following a joint funding bid.

The huge cash boost will pave the way for improvements to existing facilities and outdoor areas and allow for the creation of a new building featuring offices, meeting spaces, accessible toilets and changing rooms, a community café, training facilities and garden retail space.

The Port Glasgow charity was established in 1997 and uses horticulture to provide training, work experience, supported employment, and recreational and social facilities for a variety of people, including young people and adults with additional support needs.

Sharon Gemmell, manager of Parklea Branching Out, said: The board and team here at PBO are absolutely delighted to hear the news.

“The RCGF will allow PBO to take forward the regeneration and development of the new Parklea Community Hub, which will become the central focus for our clients with a learning disability and additional support needs and take our facilities into the 21st Century to support the client and community needs, removing barriers to current and future participation.”

The charity is based next to Parklea Community Sports Facility.

The development will support the group’s range of growing activities for people with additional support needs and the wider Inverclyde community.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to support this funding bid and secure such a transformational sum of money that will allow Parklea Branching Out, with support from Inverclyde Council, to regenerate and redevelop their existing facilities.

“It’s no surprise that due to the excellent work of staff and service users that they have outgrown their existing infrastructure so this funding will pave the way for a new, multi-purpose community hub for the benefit of the people of Port Glasgow and wider Inverclyde.

“I look forward to seeing this exciting project develop and to seeing it help more residents into work and training in keeping with the local Inverclyde Works programme to create and promote new employment opportunities.”

As well as working with adults and children with learning and/or physical disabilities, the charity also supports people with mental health problems, school leavers, young and long term unemployed, elderly groups and community groups.

Parklea also provides training in partnership with the council’s community, learning and development service to SVQ level in horticulture and employability programmes.

Following the government funding announcement, council officers will continue to work closely with the PBO board and management to develop detailed plans and timescales to take the project forward.

For more information about Parklea Branching Out, visit www.parkleaassociation.org.uk.

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