The Tannahill Centre is a 35 000 square foot property with an annual turnover in excess of £300 000 which lies in the heart of Ferguslie Park.It hosts facilities such as library, doctors surgery, café, chemist, nursery, learning centre, community hall and housing association office.The Centre is the hub of commercial and community facilities for the use primarily by the local community in Ferguslie Park.
Built in 1995 at a cost of £5 Million , it was originally funded by a cocktail of grant sources such as ERDF and the Urban Programme and was a key element of the New Life for Urban Scotland strategy for the regeneration of Ferguslie Park.
In 2006 , after extensive community consultation and feasibility work, there was agreement by all stakeholders that the longer term sustainable future of the Tannahill Centre would be best served by the transfer of management of the Centre to a newly created subsidiary company of Ferguslie Park Housing Association(The New Tannahill Centre Ltd-NTC)
Deciding factors highlighted by this work were
-The legal status of the Association as parent company
-The Associations track record and management experience
-The Associations commitment to work in partnership with the community to ensure a sustainable future for the Centre following the withdrawal of significant grant subsidy.
Despite the considerable challenges the transfer has been a significant success
Key achievements include
A financial strategy that assures financial viability for the Centre on a "stand alone" basis through the New Tannahill Centre Ltd, (NTC) the subsidiary company established to manage the Centre.
Re-negotiating Leases and Management Agreements with users of the Centre including the agreement of extended Long Term Leases for key "anchor" tenants
Significant improvements in customer care and customer service within the Centre
Ensuring sound Financial Management and Good financial practices within the subsidiary company NTC which has been commented on in positive terms by the Associations external auditors
The establishment of an experience Board of Directors to oversee the management of the Centre including the previous manager of the council library within the Centre
The establishement of charitable status for the subsidiary company resulting in an annual saving in excess of £30 000 in non domestic rates charges as well as other revenue generating opportunities
These are challenging economic times for all involved in social enterprise and social housing provision.Funding for community regeneration initiatives is extremely limited.
However, the Tannahill Centre is an example that with hard work, the relevant commercial and financial expertise , commitment and perhaps most significantly the support of the local community, involvement in social enterprise can continue to" make a difference" to the lives and aspirations of communities.
New website for the Tannahill Centre click here