Retail Trust appoints Clark Contracts as they build new lifeline for East Renfrewshire’s older people

3rd May 2024 By Clark Contracts Ltd


The charity, Retail Trust has appointed Clark Contracts to complete a £1m renovation within its Hugh Fraser Retirement Estate in Newton Mearns to create a new community hub for older people and the community across East Renfrewshire.


Three disused spaces within the estate’s Crookfur House are being refurbished to build the new facilities, which will cater for more than 1,000 local people a year and provide more support for those most at risk of isolation and with long-term health needs.


The Retail Trust’s community cafe and reception area are also being fully upgraded as part of the project and, when complete later this year, will offer a range of activities including gentle exercise classes, craft groups, film nights, quizzes and indoor bowls.


East Renfrewshire’s proportion of residents with long-term health conditions is the fourth highest in Scotland, according to the council’s Planning for the future report, and the hub will also run new disability and health support groups to meet local needs.


Residents of the Hugh Fraser Retirement Estate gathered with Clark Contracts team and project funders on Thursday (2 May) to celebrate the start of the work at a milestone groundbreaking ceremony.


Clark Contracts has previously worked within the estate, having completed two phases of work between 2018 and 2020 to construct 46 new retirement apartments.


Lawrence Coen, managing director of property and supported living at the Retail Trust, said:

“We want to address the lack of community facilities and local support for people with long-term health conditions like dementia across East Renfrewshire. Refurbishing these spaces will allow us to really increase the activities and support the Retail Trust can offer both our residents and the wider community.


“We’ve worked closely with our residents and organisations like Voluntary Action, Age Concern and East Renfrewshire Council to develop our plans and we’re really pleased with the help and funding we have now secured from a number of other important partners. We know this new community hub will provide a real lifeline to people most at risk of isolation or with long-term health needs and it’s only being made possible thanks to our brilliant supporters.”


Gerry Cummins, Director at Clark Contracts, added, “It is great to be working with the Retail Trust again. We are excited to deliver this fantastic new facility which will not only support residents within the retirement estate, but the wider community of East Renfrewshire. We look forward to working with the Retail Trust and the design team over the coming months and seeing the final result.”


East Renfrewshire Council, Talking Points East Renfrewshire, Men’s Shed, Helping Hands and Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire are among those supporting the Retail Trust to create a new community hub in Newton Mearns. Funding for the £1 million project has been granted by organisations including the Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities ‘Community Ownership Fund’, Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Fund, Scottish Power Renewables, East Renfrewshire Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Next, the B&Q Foundation and Dobbies Garden Centres.


More than 120 people currently live on the Hugh Fraser Retirement Estate, one of five supported living estates run by the Retail Trust for people retired from the retail industry, or who are in the care of someone working in or retired from the sector. The charity also works with more than 200 retailers to protect their staff’s wellbeing.


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