Five closed Glasgow community centres to re-open as 'warm banks' to get a heat over winter

Possilpoint
Possilpoint

Five currently closed community centres have been identified as places to operate as warm banks for people who will struggle to heat their homes this winter.

The council is planning a network of venues across the city where people can go to stay warm if they can’t afford to put the heating on with the rising cost of gas and electricity.

In recent weeks in response to the emerging crisis, officers from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector and other partners have been developing proposals for Welcoming Places to help over the winter.

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Today, councillors are deciding on re-opening, or transferring to other operators, community facilities that have been closed since the pandemic.

The proposal includes five community centres that would operate as tier one Welcoming Places.

A Welcoming Place will offer a “potential support package for citizens facing the challenge of heating their own households”.

Tier one venues will provide welfare facilities, including food and drink, as well as access to information and advice.

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Tier two venues will host citizens and will have a range of services and activities available and Tier three venues will be able to provide a warm welcome and space to sit without necessarily having access to services and activities.

The five identified so far as tier one Welcoming Places are:

Pollok Community Centre.

St Francis Centre.

Possilpoint Community Centre.

Cranhill Beacon.

Netherton Community Centre.

Annette Christie, convenor for culture and sport, said in a report to councillors: “Given that the cost of living crisis has been identified as an emerging priority for the city, the Welcoming Place model has been added as an additional criteria in the development of options for the re-opening of venues.”

Other venues including churches and faith centres are expected to be added to the list of places where people can go to stay warm in the colder months.

The Glasgow Against Closures campaign that has been fighting to re-open venues across the city said there are a number of unanswered questions. The Glasgow Times has also been campaigning for these community centres to reopen under Save our Venues.

A spokesperson Glasgow Against Closures said: “Will the venues be used solely as ‘welcoming spaces’ or be open for community use with bookable spaces same as pre-covid?

“Some venues are to operate limited opening hours. When does Glasgow City Council envisage the centres will re-open to pre-covid operating hours and services and that funding will be made available to facilitate this?”