CHARITIES and community clubs have been left “devastated” by the revelations vital community services will not reopen if additional funding streams aren’t found.

A letter from Glasgow Life’s chief executive officer Dr Bridget McConnell to staff at charities based in Drumchapel Community Centre, seen by the Glasgow Times, revealed there are “currently no plans” to reopen popular venues.

It states that despite a £100million lifeline from Glasgow City Council to help plug the gap caused by the loss of income brought about by the coronavirus pandemic is simply not enough to reopen all facilities.

The letter states: “Even with this support in place, our ability to earn income will remain severely restricted by the ongoing impact of the pandemic, where both public confidence and current social distancing means we cannot welcome as many people into venues, and large-scale public events have not yet been able to restart ... Glasgow’s Life’s ability to open more venues depends on more funding becoming available, as we cannot spend money that we do not have.”

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As previously reported, Glasgow Life chair David McDonald confirmed a funding boost was needed to ensure the future of dozens of venues across the city.

He said:“Unless there is an uplift or Scottish Government in the next round of lost income these venues won’t open under Glasgow Life.”

Now, questions have been asked of what measures the charity is taking to secure the additional funding needed to reopen the venues.

A representative of several clubs and groups based at the centre said: “Just now the site is being used a testing facility, which is of course important, but no one knows long it’ll last.

“We also don’t know if there are any plans to allow anyone back in to use our base - despite being out for more than a year.”

Currently only dozens of community venues - including libraries and local centres - are yet to reopen having initially closed their doors as the first national lockdown began last year.

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The result has meant organisations using the facilities have been left without a base to operate their services for more than 14 months.

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “We’re working hard to maximise the funding available to us and we have been clear for some time now that the £100m budget we have been given by Glasgow City Council this year will be allocated in full to reopening more than 90 venues across the city.

“Those venues were prioritised, in consultation with the Council, on the basis of how we can best support the city’s social and economic recovery as well as Glasgow Life’s future income. At the same time, we are proactively engaging with the Scottish Government and meeting with Government officials to discuss where there may be opportunities for funding support.

“However, the reality of the considerable impact of the pandemic on Glasgow Life is that our ability to earn income will remain severely restricted for some time. Changes in public behaviour and attitudes over the past 17 months, together with ongoing physical distancing and other Government restrictions, mean we can’t welcome as many people into our venues while some, like the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, are unable to reopen. Additionally, large-scale events which generate ticketed income have not yet been able to restart.

“It has also been agreed with Glasgow City Council that prior to any further venues and services being considered for reopening, Glasgow Life’s focus in the short to medium term is to generate earned income of £27.2m; reflecting the difference between our annual service fee and the £100m guarantee provided by the Council, which was always meant to be time limited.

“We continue to recognise the strength of feeling there is about venues without reopening dates, but in the current climate it is unrealistic to expect that we can raise significant additional funding this year that will support the reopening of venues beyond those we have already announced. As we have said, should more funding become available, then we will discuss future reopening plans with Glasgow City Council, local communities and our stakeholders.”