Roystonhill Community Hub
It was clear to local councilors and housing associations in Royston that there was a need for more community spaces in the local area. Spireview Housing Association initially carried out a feasibility study, as part of a local consortium of interested groups. Spire View Housing Association stay true to their grass-roots origins with 11 local people volunteering their time to govern the Association as members of the Management Committee.
The initial feasibility study identified 14 sites that could potentially deliver a new community facility. Rainbow hall, an old church hall in Royston owned by the Church of Scotland, was identified as the preferred site throughout that process.
Around 95% of the community thought that the area needed this new facility, and there was agreement that a shop should be included. Many of the shops in the Roystonhill area have disappeared over the years. To simply go to a general ‘convenience’ store, residents had to go down the hill and almost into the city centre.
At the same time, the local development trust had commissioned consultants to carry out a vision and strategy which identified a need for community services and facilities. That added weight to the case for a new Community Hub, which helped with funders.
Funding from Scottish Government, Scottish Land Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund, as well as several other funders, enabled the organisation to purchase the property from the Church of Scotland to build a community facility, Roystonhill Community Hub, or ‘Hub on the Hill’ as it is known locally.
When Spire View Housing Association came to the stage where they were able to purchase the church hall, they began to work closely with the Rosemount Development Trust, who owned the 150-year-old church spire located adjacent to the hall, created an integrated space consisting of the community building, outside areas which include the historic church spire, and a publically accesible park.
The original façade of the community building was retained, with notable cost implications, but the resulting building is a remarkable combination of a historic building and up to date flexible community space. Opened in the Summer of 2019, the building replaces the old Rainbow Hall and includes two community halls, community café area, large flexible meeting space, commercial kitchen, reception area with open plan office space, smaller additional office space, interview room and community shop unit.
“The Association is extremely proud to have delivered this outstanding facility, built to meet the needs and aspirations of our local community and to serve the people of Royston and beyond for many years to come. Little did we know what was around the corner when we opened the doors of our new state of the art hub. As a community anchor organisation, we are very grateful to have had this terrific asset to provide a base for delivery of much needed support to those that needed it during the Covid-19 crisis. We are very much looking forward to the day we can fully re-open.”Alan Brown, Spire View Housing Association chairperson
In late 2019, Copperworks Housing on Royston Hill acquired a large area of derelict land known as “the Park on the Hill”, which was remediated with support from the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and turned into a public greenspace. In 2021 next steps for community-led and owned development at Royston Hill include an options investigation for another vacant and derelict site along at Provan Hill, and regeneration of Royston Road, a historic through-road linking to the City Centre.