north-ayrshire.gov.uk uses cookies which are essential for the site to work. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our websites. Any data collected is anonymised. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies

Council leader visits Kilwinning Rangers Sports Club as new community hub nears completion
Home   News   Council leader visits new Kilwinning Rangers Sports Club as community hub nears completion

Council leader visits Kilwinning Rangers Sports Club as new community hub nears completion

Posted on 31 Aug 2021

Ambitious plans for a new Kilwinning Rangers community hub have progressed this week as North Ayrshire Council grant a further £15k gap funding to finalise building works.

The project kicked off at the start of lockdown last year after the football club received £41,000 investment from the Council’s Community Investment Fund (CIF).

Named The Claire Hub, the new community hub has been created to address capacity issues for youth activities in the main clubhouse of Kilwinning Sports Club.

The Claire community hub is named in remembrance of Claire Hodge who sadly passed away earlier this year. Claire worked at the sports club for many years and was a big part of its journey.

With the final stages of internal building works underway, Council Leader Joe Cullinane was given a tour by the visionary behind the project, Kilwinning Rangers Chairman, Colin Boyd.

Digging the foundations himself to house the once-derelict accommodation, Boyd and his team of 100-strong volunteers have transformed the portable cabin building into a sprawling 433 square metre community space.

The extra funding will be used to complete internal building works and make sure the outer building is accessible for all.

In addition to the CIF funding and the football club’s own investment, the space has also benefited from the equivalent of £100k in labour and materials, donated by local businesses and club sponsors.

Dedicated to Kilwinning youth, The Claire Hub communal space was opened for the first time during the summer holidays, to support after-school care and give youngsters from some of the most deprived areas in the town the opportunity to take part in sports and confidence-building social activities.

The hub has been created alongside a welcoming community hall with catering facilities, neighbouring lounge room and a suite of ready-to-lease small business office space with internal toilets – one unit is already being operated by a local hairdresser and beauty salon.

The extra community space will make Kilwinning Rangers known for more than its on-the-pitch activities as the increased capacity will enhance their ability to offer a range of community development activities for all ages.

There will also be a focus on community food provision, employability skills and signposting for health and wellbeing support.

Set to generate a steady income for the club, the main community hall is already being booked up for local functions and yoga classes, relaxation and wellness workshops, mother and toddler groups and after-school clubs are now starting to use the multi-functional community space.

Colin commented, “The Claire Hub really has been a passion project of ours, keeping us focussed on our goal of making a positive impact in the community from the grassroots up.

“Our ambition is to empower young people in North Ayrshire to have a strong focus and community purpose in life.

“We hope that by opening the community space up to the wider community, we will be able to spot young people who have a natural flair for the game who we may have previously missed and encourage them to come along to training so we can gain their confidence and nurture their talent for the game.”

The club’s investment into the local community has already seen their membership grow to over 500 members this year.

Colin continued, “Kids are the lifeblood of our club and The Claire Hub is crucial to our continued commitment to strengthen diversity in the sport, while offering a safe and inclusive space to some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities.

“Getting the project off the ground simply wouldn’t have been possible without the help of North Ayrshire Council and the CIF funding, and by receiving the extra £15k we hope to be able to push the project over the line to full completion in the coming months.”

Council Leader Joe Cullinane commented, “We set up the Community Investment Fund to give local communities the resources and powers they need to develop community-led projects that make a real difference to the lives of those in North Ayrshire.

“The work being carried out to create The Claire Hub at Kilwinning Rangers Football Club is absolutely fantastic and a shining example of how Community Wealth Building – the economic model adapted by the Council – can work in practice.

“What Colin and the team have achieved in such a short space of time is amazing and by investing our CIF funding into such projects, we can continue to ensure young people in the area have access to safe community spaces where they can meet up, gain confidence and improve their social skills while gaining a greater sense of pride in the area.

“It is also fantastic to see the potential in the retail and office space as it will provide a sustainable income source for the club, allowing new and existing businesses to flourish while creating new employment opportunities for young people.

“By working together with their vast network of dedicated volunteers and sponsors, Colin and Kilwinning Rangers Sports Club have achieved the impossible during the pandemic and I have no doubt of how much of a positive impact the project is going to have for the Pennyburn community and surrounding areas when it is fully completed.”