AN EAST end community centre is celebrating after winning a massive £1.2 million government cash boost.

Craigend Resource Centre will be knocked down and rebuilt to expand its work in the area.

Manager Brian Power says the voluntary management board have been fighting for funding to create a bigger centre and improve facilities.

Brian said: "I am absolutely over-the-moon. It is the result of a lot of hard work by the committee and staff over the last 10 years.

"It's all about bringing new services into the area and to expand on the work we've been doing for 20 years."

Brian says he hopes it will also bring employment opportunities to the local area.

He said: "We have eight members of staff just now and we hope that some work will be created out of it, including building contractors taking on local people."

The blueprint for the new state-of-the-art facility will include an improved café area, increased laundry facilities, a large community hall, a crèche space, a small interview/meeting room and an IT and learning space.

Brian says this will allow the board to build on youth work, employability and fitness classes.

He said: "We've never had a big enough hall to do some of these things. We will now be able to run our summer playscheme from the centre."

The money has come from the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Fund (RGCF) and is one of 18 projects to benefit from the £20m cash pot.

Brian who has managed the centre for 23 years, said: "In all those years, this is the most exciting thing that's happened.

"It's a dream come true for me personally.

"It will make a huge difference to the area but we want to keep the same atmosphere in the centre, keeping people our number one priority."

Work could start on the project as soon as April.

The centre has also been successful in obtaining £900,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and £180,000 from the Robertson Trust.

Stuart McMillan, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, welcomed the news.

He said: "Craigend Resource Centre is an asset to the east end of Greenock. It plays a crucial role within the community, so I’m glad it’s being rewarded with this significant funding award from the RCGF.

“This joint investment from the Scottish Government and COSLA will help support or create more than 600 jobs, including in Inverclyde.

“This investment will see Craigend Resource Centre demolished and a new larger facility built in its place that will better serve the east end."