New base for Include Me 2 as it takes over Barrhead’s McGuire Building

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A charity which helps people with additional support needs will bring a vacant Barrhead building back into use.

Include Me 2 have reached a five-year agreement with East Renfrewshire Council to lease the building for £1 a year.

The voluntary organisation will use the building as a community hub for delivering activities to children, youths and adults with learning, physical and mental disabilities.

And charity bosses will be responsible for carrying out any repairs and maintenance work to the listed building – something which could save the council around £20,000.

Council leader Tony Buchanan said: “I’m delighted to see this coming forward and, having attended a number of events and having had discussions with Include Me 2, I know they’ve been somewhat nomadic.

“I’m delighted they are happy to take this building on.”

The McGuire Building has previously been identified as a potential replacement headquarters for East Renfrewshire Council if the current Eastwood Park HQ is demolished.

But last month a plan to dispose of several publicly owned buildings in East Renfrewshire was revealed.

It showed that the council wants to get rid of some of its largest properties following workforce cuts, technological changes and the creation of new buildings.

The McGuire Building was identified as one of those deemed surplus to requirements and despite interest from Include Me 2, the deal wasn’t expected to be signed-off until next year.

Following last week’s decision by the council’s cabinet however, an agreement is set to be finalised before the end of this year.

East Renfrewshire Council’s deputy leader Paul O’Kane said: “I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from Include Me 2 and they’re keen to have a base.

“I had occasion to speak to members of the McGuire family who were delighted at the prospect of the building coming back into use.”

As part of the agreement, both the council and Include Me 2 will be able to rip up the lease after three years if it doesn’t work out.

The James McGuire Building has lain vacant since 2015, having previously housed the council’s employability services.

In the past there have been calls for the Barrhead Post Office to be moved into the building, although those plans never materialised.

Currently, the council is working to lease or sell Lygates, the Dickie Building, Capelrig House and the former Clarkston Social Work Office, which have all been deemed surplus.