Angus Cycle Hub has secured a £60,000-plus windfall to help it move into a new base and bring Arbroath’s 19th Century police office back into use.
The social enterprise hopes to eventually complete a community asset takeover of the Market Place premises which date back to the early 1840s, and also served as a tourist office before falling empty.
The £64,000 package has come from a variety of sources, including Arbroath Common Good Fund, Smarter Choices Smarter Places and Angus Environmental Trust.
It will lead to the extension of the region’s bike recycling programme and the development of a new Scottish Qualifications Authority Training Centre, as well as bringing the landmark property back into use.
Project director Scott Francis said, “Volunteers and staff have been working feverishly behind the scenes to try and make this happen for the last year and we are thrilled to finally be in a position to move forward with this project.
“The project is a direct response to gaps in provision we have noticed when working with the community and will help towards our goal of being sustainable without the need for funding in the future.”
The social enterprise will move the short distance from its current location in Gravesend to the corner of Market Place and into the one-time police office, which has lain empty for the past couple of years.
Scott added: “We have run out of space at our current premises to accommodate some of the services we offer, and the move will allow us to expand to include provision of training for the local community.”
Angus Cycle Hub has been working with a range of partners including Angus Council, Barnardos and local schools to provide opportunities for young people and community members who don’t engage with mainstream education.
The new programme aims to deliver SCQF training and qualifications while encouraging people to switch to healthier lifestyle choices, including supporting them to walk and cycle and reduce short car journeys.
“We are delighted to have been offered a lease from Angus Council for this stunning historic building which is on the town’s heritage trail,” added Scott.
“It’s a sin that it’s been empty for so long. We are looking forward to bringing life back into the building and inviting the community into see some of the incredible period features including the old police cells.
“In future we hope to do a community asset lease for the building which will ensure that we can continue to provide services to the community for many years to come.”
The group hopes to get the keys later this month and is looking to have an opening ceremony in April.