Dumfriesshire charity Food Train have appointed Annan-based solutions business Eco Group to lead the renovation of the former Dumfries and Galloway office building in English Street, which will be turned into a purpose-created base and community hub for older people.
Work on the town centre site started earlier this week, and the charity hope to move in later this year.
Food Train chief executive Michelle Carruthers said: “We’re delighted to have work underway and that we’ve been able to appoint a local contractor to turn our vision to help improve the lives of older people into reality.
“The project really is evolving into a triple win — for our charity in its long-held hope for a home of its own, for the community by turning a building which has been empty for some time into a great new asset, and for the area’s economy by bringing in a local company to deliver it.”
The creation of a centre for older people was one of the ambitions of Food Train’s founders when they launched a shopping delivery service for people aged 65 and over in Dumfries in 1995.
Once open, the charity plans to use the centre as a hub for advice and activities for older people, as well as a venue for Food Train’s befriending groups that work to tackle loneliness.
It will also provide an office and meeting space for community groups and other organisations, a central hub for the charity’s service in Dumfries and Galloway, and a support centre for its shopping services in nine other Scottish local authority areas.
Eco, which recently opened its own purpose-built HQ at Annan Business Park, will carry out the work through the Eco Projects design, build and fit out division using local sub-contractors.
Managing director Eddie Black said: “It’s a privilege to be involved in delivering this fantastic project for Food Train.
“The charity’s work makes a huge difference to the lives of older people in Dumfries and Galloway and beyond, and the new HQ will put it in an even better positon to help those most in need.”