The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) has bought a former bank in East Ayrshire to provide a new hub for community work.

The organisation says it has completed the purchase of the former Royal Bank of Scotland building, on Main Street in Dalmellington – and that work on refurbishing the property will start in the next few months.

Current plans are for the building to be used as an office for the CRT, along with co-working spaces for local agencies and drop-in support services.

Refurbishment work on the property will start in the Summer, and it’s hoped the building will be ready to reopen in its new guise early next year, depending on the availability of materials.

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The trust is now hoping that the building, in its new guise, can breathe new life into the economy of the town centre by creating increased trade for nearby shops and cafes.

Nicky Wilson, vice-chair of the CRT, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to invest in the Dalmellington community with the purchase and refurbishment of the former bank in the High Street.

“This will help to regenerate the centre of the town and provide co-working facilities to build opportunity and prosperity for local people.

“We are proud to be part of the many different projects happening in East Ayrshire’s former mining communities and look forward to working in partnership with them.”

The sum paid by the CRT to secure ownership of the property, which has remained empty since the RBS closed its branch in the town six years ago, has not been disclosed.

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Rae Smith, director of the Dalmellington Parish Development Trust, which will also have an office in the building once the refurbishment of the premises is complete, added: “I’m delighted that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust have secured the purchase of the former RBS branch on the Main Street of Dalmellington.

“This prominent long-standing building will now have a new life housing the Dalmellington Parish Development Trust office.

“This will enable the Trust to play a crucial role in the regeneration of Dalmellington Parish.”

The building had been up for sale for around £127,000, having previously been listed on Rightmove in February 2018.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has is the leading regeneration organisation dedicated to improving the quality of life in Britain’s coalfield communities.

Their team of trustees have been supporting former coal mining towns and villages in Scotland and across the UK since 1999.

Their mission is “to champion and strengthen coalfield communities, generate resources to respond to their needs and deliver programmes that make a positive and lasting difference”.

It is hoped that this new asset will boost the High Street in Dalmellington and increase trade for local shops and cafes by offering a new destination and base for community work.

The CRT says it will keep people in Dalmellington updated with the progress of the building’s refurbishment as the project moves forward.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust will be keeping people in Dalmellington updated as this exciting project moves forward.