Work got under way this week to create a new multi-million pound facility to serve the community in the Forgewood area of Motherwell.
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland joined Forgewood residents, partner agencies and children from the Forgewood Nursery Centre for a sod-cutting ceremony to mark the start of work at the centre in Dinmont Crescent.
The facility will bring together several community resources within a single location and is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Government, WREN and Local Energy Scotland.
The new centre will include a multi-purpose hall and rooms, IT learning space and a small community café on the ground floor.
And the first floor of the building will also house shared meeting rooms and office space for use within the community
Forgewood Housing Co-operative director John Mulholland said the project was about bringing the community together to enjoy recreational and social activity in a building and environment they can be proud of.
He added: “The new centre will also be a hub for service provision to the local community.
“Services provided from the new building will include housing advice, health advice and assistance, money and welfare advice and wider social benefits.
“This building will bring about real positive change for the community of Forgewood.”
Mr Pentland said: “It’s great to see this investment taking place to construct a new community centre.
“Having lived in Forgewood myself - in Dalriada Crescent - I recognise how important this facility is to the community.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed and will contribute to this project, the completion of which will, I am sure, bring great benefit to the area.”
Local volunteer and Forgewood Housing Co-operative chairman Alan Thomson said: “Forgewood has waited a long time for this, from Davaar Drive to Dalriada Crescent, from Forgewood’s young to our old, we’re ready.
“We’re ready to start using the building, a new place for us all to enjoy.
“A community centre we can be proud of.”