RESIDENTS and visitors are noticing an amazing sight in the centre of Ochiltree.

Work is progressing at a steady pace as the new base of Ochiltree Community Hub (OCH) takes shape where a community centre once stood.

Events have moved quickly after the final piece of the funding jigsaw was put in place followed by Ashleigh (Scotland) being appointed as the contractor.

It had been five years since the community centre and library was earmarked for closure with the building eventually being demolished in October 2016.

Meanwhile, a series of public events, consultations and meetings took place in the village as the vision of a new development became reality.

OCH became owners of the site at 45 Main Street and foundation work started on July 16 this year.

A meet the contractor event was held in Ochiltree Parish Church Hall when residents were able to find out about timescales, traffic issues and more.

Chairman of OCH, Alex Baird, said: “In the last few weeks, part of the steel structure has gone up, timber kit has been delivered, the concrete floor surface has been laid and the rear car park has been covered with tarmac.

“Meanwhile, meetings and other events are still being held in our interim premises at 108 Main Street, including a coffee shop on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

“We had a total of 25 hours of lets during September as well as Spark of Genius having a training session, which shows there is a need for the service we are providing.

“It is not just the community of Ochiltree which will benefit from the new building, which is scheduled to open next summer, but Cumnock and Auchinleck will also benefit.”

Onlookers can see the various rooms taking shape — they are no longer drawings on a wall pending decisions made elsewhere regarding funding.

There was an early setback when the Big Lottery knocked back an application, albeit they did say the project had merit and could re-apply.

Around the same time, the first funds were sourced — £40,000 from the Minerals Trust which started the ball rolling.

True to their word, in June 2017 Big Lottery awarded £900,000 towards capital build and £59,000 towards the first three years staff costs.

This was a major success for the project which was then given the green light ... they were on their way.