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Day centre plans move forward

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Day centre plans move forward

MOMENTUM is building for the renovation of Annan library to transform it into a future-proof day centre for the area’s older residents.

Plans have been drawn up by an architect and now day centre staff are turning their attention to getting the whole community behind their plans.

They have just two years to complete the work and their goal is being supported and accelerated by the Creetown Initiative, which has experience delivering projects like this.

Day centre manager Emma Irving said: “We want to be able to show the public what we are starting with, so they can see how far we have to go.

“Unfortunately, because of the vandalism to the building before Christmas, we can’t show anyone round and let them see the extent of the problems.”

A fire was started in the building late last year, and Emma explained that as a result there is a huge hole in the flooring where the electrics had to be accessed.

Furthermore, several of the walls have been attacked by vandals leaving gaping holes.

Emma said: “The people living in Charles Street have been amazing though, keeping an eye out for us.

“The building is totally secure now, but for a few days there was a door at the back that was open so that made it easy for people to get into.”

Now that plans have been drawn up, by Gordon Fleming, of ARPL Architects, Annan Day Centre is looking for money for the next stage.

Emma said: “We need to secure capital funding for the project now.

“We have had amazing support from the community, loads of donations. That support helps us secure the capital, because they can see what this means to the community when we can show them all the people who want to help.”

Chris Ward and Gordon Fleming look at the plans

One of those stepping out to help is Annan’s Marie Marshall, who is currently in training for a 95-mile Ultra Marathon in June.

All the money she raises will go towards the day centre’s plans.

Emma said: “We are so grateful to Marie for this, not just for the money she will raise but also for the support it shows.”

Meanwhile, some of the members are hoping to organise a bake sale and they also hope to make contact with Annan schools to get the young people involved.

Emma added: “There are so many things we want to do, but can’t until something else is done. It’s all about doing it in the right order.

“I’m just so excited about it all, but we have two years of hard work ahead of us. It will all be worth it.”

Also backing the plans is Annandale South councillor, Ian Carruthers.

He said: “This work by Annan Day Centre will future-proof the service for years to come.

“It gives them a permanent home, that they own, where they can lift the fantastic service they currently provide to another level.

“The people of Annandale South will receive a much better service, which is future-proofed and sustainable.”

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