A GROUP of people determined to replace a community centre and library in their village have have accomplished their mission.

Am amazing £1.8m has been secured by the trustees of Ochiltree Community Hub (OCH) after the final piece in the jigsaw was put in place.

They were awarded £352,478 through East Ayrshire Council’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) which means work can go ahead to replace the facilities which were demolished in October 2016.

OCH chairman, Alex Baird, said: “The support we have had has not just come from two or three people — support from the entire community has been immense.

“Different groups have come together to make a good place to live even better.

“We always said that it would take six years from when we started and that is what will happen.”

During the summer, the asset transfer will take place, it has been passed by cabinet but now we have the funding in place, it becomes a formality legally.

“We have six contractors to interview at the end of April before an exact start date is agreed and we find out how long building work is likely to take before the centre is complete.”

Mr Baird reflected on the journey that has brought the group to this stage.

He said: “Ochiltree was trending downwards on a standard of living index.

“We looked into things such as health and decided to arrest the trend by building a place for the community’s health and well-being.”

Council leader Douglas Reid said he is looking forward to seeing the project take shape.

He said:“Partnership working and innovative thinking, in conjunction with extensive public consultation has enabled the community to come up with a creative solution for Ochiltree and enable the Hub to host many varied services and activities.

“At a time when community facilities in many areas are under threat, it’s great to know that thanks to this grant we can work with communities to finalise funding.”