“Renton Community Development Trust which operates the Carman Centre has seen it’s income slashed by around £140,000 in the last year. The largest cut was from the Council totalling around £116,000 for housing support services, one stop shop services and the breakfast club service for primary school children in Renton. Cordale Housing Association also cut funding by £10,000 per annum plus there were additional costs to RCDT of approx £11,000 to sack a former employee for gross misconduct. In January 2014, RCDT invited The Development Trust Association of Scotland to deliver an independent business health check for the organisation which reiterated the dire financial situation RCDT found themselves in. It was highlighted that if RCDT continue to deliver services in the same way as in previous years over two centres then they were in grave danger of trading when insolvent.
RCDT have looked at raising finance via the John Connolly centre but due to the 25 year claw back agreement with WDC are unable to do so, we also recently received a refusal from the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund a £50,000 internal redevelopment to the Carman Centre which would have seen some diversification of services which could be delivered from this venue.
RCDT have applied to WDC to transfer the building into RCDT’s ownership which will allow RCDT to apply for a Growing Communities Assets grant or to raise finance against the building or to re-mortgage the facility allowing them to lever in some much needed money; we currently await their response. If this building is transferred it will allow RCDT to potentially deliver on two business proposals which if successful will see a day care service designed specifically for young people with disabilities and a community resource centre for people throughout West Dunbartonshire.
As it currently stands we are in a thirty day consultation period with our staff and the users of the Carman Centre, directors met with user groups last night (20/02/14), where it was highlighted that RCDT have no desire to close The Carman Centre but cannot continue to fund the running costs of approximately £25,000-£46,000 per annum dependent on what services are delivered.
No final decisions have been made yet as the situation is very fluid, the Board of RCDT will meet after the 30 day consultation period where they will discuss feedback gained from groups, the local Authority, Cordale Housing Association and decide on how best to continue to deliver services for the people of Renton.