A community office project at Greenlaw Town Hall may be the stimulus needed to increase the use of the building.
Greenlaw Town Hall has been virtually unoccupied since it was opened by HRH Prince Charles in May 2011, after a £1.9m renovation project and Greenlaw and Hume Community Council, concerned that it will once again turn into a derelict building in the centre of the village, want to try and turn the situation around.
Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, who own the building, have granted the community council a seven month licence to occupy office space in the west wing/pavilion free of charge to operate a community office until end March 2016 when the licence will be renegotiated.
The idea is that a full range of office facilities, including internet access, can be made available to give local people without access to a computer, the opportunity to make job applications, benefit claims, file tax returns, make utility bill queries, appointments, online purchases or sales and do school projects etc.
Aware that those in the community who have difficulty in this respect are disadvantaged, and at risk of financial loss, the community council has worked closely with Greenlaw Town Hall Management Association and a group of local businessmen to come up with a solution.
Hopeful that opening the community office will help with ventilation problems being experienced in the building, Gerry McCann, chairperson of Greenlaw and Hume Community Council, said: “The community office will be open Monday to Friday, but only from such time that the office has been adequately equipped and fitted with a phone and broadband.
“This is an exciting opportunity for all concerned. Not only does it offer facilities to individuals in our community, it can also help other community groups and small businesses.
“We hope to have the office operational by early October but we need more volunteers and donations of serviceable IT and office equipment to make that possible.”
Equibuddy previously occupied the office space in the west wing and they have donated some office and IT equipment to the new venture. The community office will be equipped with: desks and workstations; four PCs and laptops; Broadband router; printer/photocopier; cabinets; phone lines; etc.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or making a donation should contact 01361 810334 or email on greenlawhumecc.@gmail.com