VIDEO: First look inside the community hub set to ‘reinvigorate’ Angus village

After 10 years, a huge amount of community effort and around £2 million in investment, the new Community Hub at Friockheim has taken its place at the heart of the Angus village.

The centre, now open in the former Eastgate school, boasts modern, accessible facilities including a reception, café, sports hall, fitness suite and a second hall for hosting parties and other events.

© DC Thomson
The new Friockheim Community Hub.

Entrepreneurs can hire office space, and meeting rooms are also available.

Up to four electric vehicles can be charged at any one time, and a community garden and multi-sensory room will ensure the hub has a broad appeal.

The centre also has a Changing Places toilet, which will be open round-the-clock via a special key, and is equipped with a changing bench, shower, toilet and hoist.

Barry Thomson, hub manager said: “We will have two tiers, with one tier generating income, such as the café and fitness suite, and the other tier will be as a gathering place for people to join together as part of clubs for example, and to attend drop-in sessions that we will accommodate.

“Although people might see the facility as being very local, because of the specialist facilities we can offer, then I think we will appeal to people from further afield, and we can assure them of a warm welcome.

© DC Thomson
fitness instructor Chris Neilson shows the fitness suite to some P4/5 pupils from Friockheim Primary.

“I’m very proud of the building, and grateful to our near neighbours who have been really understanding during the construction work,” he added.

The centre was created after concerns were expressed that Friockheim was in danger of becoming a “commuter village” after it lost its bank, shops, Post Office and a pub.

Chairman of Friockheim Community Hub Ltd Dougie Pond said: “With businesses closing down, and with a lot of elderly residents, we wanted to reinvigorate the village, and I called a meeting in 2008 to get the ball rolling.

“Our aim is to generate a cash surplus, but this money will be used to help people in the community, including vulnerable and elderly residents.”

The hub received the seal of approval from Norman and Dorothy Lawson who were pupils at the school more than half a century ago.

Dorothy said: “I spent the best years of my life at the school, and I think the hub should be really good.

“They’ve made a lot of effort and it’s very impressive.”

Three drop-in sessions are available for people to visit the hub today at 10am, 2pm and 6pm, and a further slot is scheduled for Saturday at 1pm.