TULLIBODY's Civic Centre is gearing up for a huge 2020 which begins with the opening of their new café and community hub.

After securing some funding, the centre was able to purchase essentials including a fridge and freezer, table and chairs and a worktop for cooking, with the leftover money to be spent purchasing a coffee machine.

Janette McGowan, chair of the Tullibody Community Development Trust, explained how the idea for the café came out.

She said: "The community were asking for it, we've got places like the chippy at Tron Court but there's no social places, apart from the pub, so it's for people who are in the park or walking the dog.

"At the moment we open the café when there are events on for the youth club or the dance academy, to serve juice and refreshments to the parents.

"We'll look to build it up that way until we can open it up to the public once we've got our food safety certificate."

The café is the first part of a huge overhaul of the building to make it a more inviting place for people to attend.

All the catering will be done by volunteers, six of whom have already completed their food hygiene training, and all money raised will go back into the centre to continue its development.

The centre recently had a bid approved by the council to buy the building and they are now applying for funding to become owners.

Janette said: "It was an uphill struggle but we got there in the end.

"We're really keen to get ownership because there's so much work that needs to be done."

That work includes the sports hall roof which needs to be fixed and has been shut for a year.

There's a contactor in place and the money was raised by the members early last year but work can't be done until they get ownership of the building.

There's also three boilers which are "hanging on by a thread" according to Janette and need replaced, as well as cosmetic work to the outside of the building, including making the entrance more wheelchair accessible.

Janette has been getting stuck in to the refurbishments and joked: "I never stop, I'm an expert with the floor polisher.

"I think I'm the only one that uses it."

Anyone interested in volunteering should email enquiries@tullibodycdt.org.uk