What are Welcoming Places and where will they open in Glasgow?

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Welcoming Places are set to open this winter to provide communities with warm spaces as the cost of living crisis continues to escalate.

What are welcoming places?

A report was submitted to Glasgow City Council’s City Administration Committee this week which approved the re-opening of several community venues as ‘welcoming places’.

They are to be used as ‘heat banks’ (otherwise known as warm banks) - sites where people who can not afford to heat their homes can go to stay warm in the winter.

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In the report, welcoming places were described as ‘a potential support package for citizens facing the challenge of heating their own households’.

The venues have been split into three tiers based on their capacity and ability to support people.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “Following approval of the options presented to the Council’s City Administration Committee today, we are now working to prioritise the reopening of eight community facilities operated by Glasgow Life as quickly as possible, five of which will support the Council’s Welcoming Places programme and will provide a warm, safe space for people and families facing the challenges of the cost of living crisis this winter.”

How will the welcoming places work?

The venues will open at different times:

St Francis, Possilpoint, and Pollok community centre will be open all day.

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Netherton and Cranhill community centre will operate on limited operating hours.

The venues have been split into three tiers based on their capacity and ability to support people.

Tier one venues have the capacity to provide welfare facilities, including food and drink, as well as access to information and advice.

Tier two venues will have the capacity to host citizens and will have a range of services and activities available.

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Tier three venues will be able to provide a warm space to sit without necessarily having access to services and activities.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said:”All eight centres will be available for wider community use and we will share more information soon confirming reopening dates and booking details.”

Where and when will welcoming places open in Glasgow?

The following currently closed GlasgowLife community venues that are included in the list of venues to reopen as a ‘tier one’ welcoming space ahead of this Winter:

Pollok Community Centre

St Francis Centre

Possilpoint Community Centre

Cranhill Beacon

Netherton Community Centre

Seven other centres are set to reopen soon in Molendinar, Ruchazie, Shettleston, Garrowhill, Barmulloch, Balgaryhill, and Tollcross - where the operations of the centre will be handled by third sector organisations but will remain a part of the ‘welcoming places’ programme.

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Three more centres have been opened by GlasgowLife, Pollokshields Community Centre, Geoff Shaw Community Centre, and the Couper Institute, where the process to transfer the operations to community groups is currently underway.

Ruchill Community Centre will also reopen when building work is concluded in late 2022 / early 2023.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “Local organisations who have expressed an interest in managing six additional community centres are at an advance stage of the Council’s People Make Glasgow Communities process. When these organisations are ready, we will provide transitional funding from the £1.1m budget the Council has made available this financial year to support these groups with reopening their centres, where possible.

“In terms of Partick Burgh Hall, and Drumchapel and Barmulloch Community Centres, our intention is to reopen these venues from the end of March 2023 once they are no longer required by the NHS as vaccination centres. We will now also look to progress significant capital investment in the fabric of Ruchill Community Centre, which will allow it to reopen in the 2023/24 financial year.

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“We would like to thank all of our let and lease-holders, community groups and organisations, and local people who provided feedback as part of our community venues consultation in recent months, which helped to shape the development of the options approved by the Council.”

Will any other venues open as welcoming places?

Work is ongoing to finalise the list of welcoming places in Glasgow - the full list of 18 sights confirmed to reopen can be found here.

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