PLANS to establish a community hub and cafe in Clackmannan has been backed by elected members.

The Clackmannan Town Hall Development Trust, the group behind the bid, was hailed for its recent track record by the Partnership and Performance Committee.

Indeed, the councillors, meeting at Kilncraigs last Thursday, September 27, wished them all the best as they committed more than £85,000 to the Clackmannan Community Enterprise Hub project.

While the development is still subject to approval by full council later this month, the endorsement will be welcome recognition for 18 months of hard work on the business plan.

The trust has been operating for nearly 15 years and council officers told the chamber last week that its members have the experience and the reserves to take the project forward.

Inherently, there are risks associated with any enterprise, but the business plan, which was revised a number of times, was hailed for addressing a range of community needs.

The move will create a hub within the current CAP and library adjoining Clackmannan Town Hall.

There will be a community café providing healthy and affordable food, operating six or seven days a week along with a takeaway service.

A dedicated heritage and tourist information area linked to cycling tourism, along with a small gift shop, are also in the proposals along with a meeting space for local community groups.

The list of services grows with a self-serving library facility and space for Bookbug sessions as well as a digital, employability and Universal Credit support service.

The hub will also be a training and work placement venue for young people, while there will be plenty of volunteering opportunities along with support for local people with learning difficulties.

Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface and DTAS were given a nod of thanks for supporting the trust in developing the plans.

The paper was moved by Councillor Helen Lewis, who said the initiative has brought the community together and acknowledged the hard work of all involved before wishing everyone all the best.

Council leader Cllr Ellen Forson was happy to see it all coming together and said the initiative, part of the Clackmannan Regeneration Project, fits the community empowerment agenda well.

Cllr Bill Mason, who represents the East Ward, gave his full support, saying it was a “tremendous” initiative for Clackmannan.

Cllr Phil Fairlie also highlighted the trust has a “proven track record” before wishing the organisation all the best.

The paper was agreed unanimously.