Croy miners dig up Lottery gold

THE regeneration of the Miners Welfare in Croy is nearing reality after a grant of half a million pounds was awarded to the Croy Miners Welfare Charitable Society by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The group plan to demolish the existing building built after the Second World War and replace it with a new building which will be home to not only the Miners Welfare but provide a facility to be used as a 'one stop shop' for all the groups and societies in the village to operate under one roof. These would include Croy Health Resource and Information Service (CHRIS), Croy Silver Band, Croy Choir and will also incorporate a sports hall. There is also the chance that Historic Scotland may open a small interpretation centre in order to explain the Antonine Wall to visitors.

The community fund grant from the National Lottery totalled 450,000 for part of the building work, with a rolling 50,000 more for additional expenses, such as wages. There was also a cash commitment from North Lanarkshire Council to the tune of 200,000, North Lanarkshire Forward have pledged 40,000, and the Scottish Executive gave 220,000, and the committee had applied for 125,000 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and are waiting to here back from sportscotland who have said they would welcome a bid up to 200,000.

Employed

This latest award brings the funding to over 1 million and architects have already been employed to draw up plans for the scheme.

John Cullen, chairman of the group said: "We could start the demolition around September or October and have a new hall operating by February next year,'' he said.

"This would bring all the groups in the village under one roof. It is brilliant news, and I think it is a first for Scotland.''

Councillor Francis Griffin said: "There is a buzz about the village, all the parts of the jigsaw are coming together. We have been working for over 18 months to get to this stage and so far everyone we have targeted for money has delivered.

"Now we are looking to the local industries like the quarries. They may not be able to supply cash but could offer goods. It would be a great help if we got the likes of road-surfacing from Tarmac.

"When we asked the village what they would like to see in the new centre we got a 30 per cent response which was tremendous. We have the funding, we have support and with the recent announcement for Croy Station it seems that things are finally tying together for Croy.

John McColl, chairman of Croy Community Council, said: "This is brilliant. The committee are to be congratulated for all the hard work they have put in. This development is a long time coming.''

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Cathie Craigie said: "I am very pleased that the one stop shop project has secured lottery funding. This, together with funding from the Executive and the local authority, will ensure the project becomes reality and be of tremendous benefit to everyone in Croy.''

Rosemary McKenna, MP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been involved in assisting the Miners' Welfare to get this grant. It has been a long hard road for them. They have worked extremely hard to put the bid together. This is exactly the type of project the National Lottery should be funding.''