New operator identified for Commonwealth Games legacy hub in Glasgow's East End

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A new operator is set to take over a Commonwealth Games legacy hub which partly closed when the charity in charge went into administration.

Talks will begin with Rockvilla CIC over a lease for office, nursery and theatre space at Dalmarnock Legacy Hub — opened in 2015 by football legend Kenny Dalglish and then council leader Frank McAveety — if councillors approve the plan on Thursday.

The £3.5m hub on Springfield Road was initially managed by the People’s Development Trust, but the organisation went into administration in January 2019 and it was purchased by Glasgow City Council for £1.

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A doctor’s surgery, dentist and pharmacists have continued to operate from the venue, and would remain tenants of the council if the Rockvilla lease is granted.

Rockvilla, a community interest company, has experience in community theatre, officials have reported. The firm says it delivers a range of events across the musical, cultural and sports sectors for the people of Dalmarnock, Bridgeton and Parkhead.

Cllr Ruairi Kelly, the council’s convener for neighbourhood assets, said: “The mismanagement and closure of the previous Dalmarnock Hub was a huge loss to the local community and hopefully this will be a major step on the way to bringing this fantastic facility back to life and seeing a range of services being offered to local people.

“Stepping in to take over this asset allowed us to secure a building that has tremendous potential to benefit Dalmarnock and the surrounding areas, and working with community organisations means we can now look forward to its return to productive use.”

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The council held consultation on the future of the building, and officials have reported a preference for an external operator which can “ensure inward investment and socio-economic development” through “a mix of commercial and community use”.

They believe a lease to Rockvilla CIC would “provide the opportunity to reinvigorate the hub and allow it to serve the community” while also alleviating the cost to the council, including non-domestic rates and utility charges.

Rent for the building is expected to be more in line with the open rental market, to generate income for the council, rather than a concessionary level, which a CIC would normally qualify for. This is due to the semi-commercial operating model proposed.

It is expected the offices and nursery will “attract commercial interest”. The new operator would be expected to encourage the local community to visit the venue.

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