Cowan Park Community Enterprise Hub opens its doors

We officially opened our fantastic new community enterprise hub in Barrhead's Cowan Park today.


Published Wednesday 5 April

Based in the newly renovated gate lodge building, local charity, Include Me 2 Club, have set-up a social enterprise hub, café, bike workshop, meeting space and public toilets which can be used by the local community and visitors to the park.

The project was part-funded by the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and East Renfrewshire Council and has revived the park's historic gatekeepers building.

Following previous consultations with the local community, the overwhelming majority felt the priorities should be toilets, food provision and CCTV and this project provides both toilets and a cafe as well as additional CCTV for the area, creating a valuable community hub for the park and the wider Barrhead community.

The Deputy Provost of East Renfrewshire, Councillor Kate Campbell, said: "'I am absolutely delighted to see this new hub open. Not only has it brought this historic building back to life, but has also put in place facilities that the local community have told us they want to see. I'd like to express our thanks to everyone who played their part in this project.'

East Renfrewshire Council's Environment and Housing Convener, Councillor Danny Devlin, added: 'Cowan Park is a fantastic public space which already provides Barrhead residents and beyond with opportunities for sport, exercise and play and this project provides much-needed amenities. It will also deliver job and training opportunities through the excellent work of Include Me 2 Club. I wish them all the best in this new venture.'

Paul McIlvenny, Include Me 2 Club chairperson, said: 'Myself and the team are thrilled to have our new hub here in Cowan Park. It will provide the community with the option to grab a drink or a bite to eat, meet friends and local groups or speak to our cycling experts in the area's first Active Travel Hub. We've already created eight new jobs here - two of which are young people who've come through our employability programme for those with additional support needs and disabilities - so we look forward to expanding this programme. If you're in Cowan Park with the kids or walking the dog, be sure to pop in and see us!'

Also in attendance at the opening event was Catherine Kennedy. Catherine was born in the building in 1951. The original gate lodge building provided a home to the park's superintendent and Catherine's father was 'Parkie' from 1943 until he retired in 1972.

She said: 'It's lovely to see newly renovated gatelodge. I've a lot of happy memories from living here - as a child, it was great living in the gatelodge and having Cowan Park as my back garden. I look forward to popping in for a coffee.'

The new facility is open 9am until 5pm, seven days a week.

Last modified on 18 April 2023