£5.3m Sir Harry Burns Centre officially opened

L-r Lilly Quinn Age 4 and Lily Silberschatz age 4 from Barrhead and Sir Harry Burns at the opening. Photo: Mark Gibson
L-r Lilly Quinn Age 4 and Lily Silberschatz age 4 from Barrhead and Sir Harry Burns at the opening. Photo: Mark Gibson

A £5.3m community hub in Barrhead named in honour of Scotland’s former Chief Medical Officer, Sir Harry Burns, has officially opened.

The innovative Sir Harry Burns Centre brings together a range of services under one roof, including early learning and childcare, at the heart of the Auchenback community.

Famous Barrhead resident and Freeman of East Renfrewshire, Sir Harry, has long been an advocate of preventative work in communities to improve health and wellbeing.

So with this new facility set up to enhance the first-class integrated work East Renfrewshire Council is doing to support young children, parents and families, naming the centre after Sir Harry was deemed a fitting tribute.

After performing the official opening ceremony, Sir Harry said: “For many years I’ve been absolutely convinced about the importance of a nurturing environment in ensuring success for young people. As someone who was born in Barrhead, and lived most of my life here, I’m extremely humbled and moved by the decision to name this centre after me and I look forward to supporting it in the years ahead.

“The approach which is being taken by East Renfrewshire Council is absolutely the way forward and by having all the right services under one roof to be able to support families as early as possible will have positive impacts for the community.”

The Sir Harry Burns Centre, which incorporates the relocated Arthurlie Family Centre, has been built on the site of the former Auchenback Primary.

It has been developed as part of the Council’s integrated early years work with East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

The extended Arthurlie Family Centre now offers 120 morning and 120 afternoon places for children aged between three and five, and when fully operational will also offer all two year olds in the area nursery and family sessions.

A further 50 part-time places for children aged from birth to three years are also available to provide a community space for families.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, Leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said: “Working with children and families from a very early age, in the one centre, has a host of benefits to children’s development. As well has having the nursery facility, as the building develops it will also bring together front-line staff from other council services and partner organisations, such as health visitors and social workers. This will provide the opportunity for staff to work with parents while their child is learning and cared for. I’m delighted that this wonderful community hub is now up-and-running and look forward to seeing how it develops in the coming months and years.”

The Sir Harry Burns Centre was designed by the Council’s in-house architecture team, with the materials and colour schemes used aimed at creating a calm, nurturing environment.

Inside, the single storey community hub has seven playrooms, bright modern learning spaces and underfloor heating with level access throughout.

There is a canopy outside each playroom and a door to give youngsters access to a secure garden all-year-round.