STAFF and volunteers at a Southside charity which has been running for almost 40 years have been left “totally devastated” over news it will shut down at the end of this month.

Glasgow Play-Resource Association (GPA) claims the closure will have “a knock-on effect” on Glasgow City Council’s net-zero aims.

The Bridgeton charity has been fighting to find affordable, secure premises for more than two years but after its latest option fell through, directors have taken the difficult decision to shut down.

GPA helps to save tonnes of waste materials from going to landfill each year, and its scrapstore and craft activities are used by schools, nurseries and hundreds of city art school students.

Glasgow Times: Green MSP Patrick Harvie visited the GPA earlier this yearGreen MSP Patrick Harvie visited the GPA earlier this year (Image: Glasgow Play-Resource Association)

Project co-ordinator Sarah Paterson said: “The GPA family are totally devastated that after championing reuse, recycle and repurpose for 39 years, way before it was even a ‘thing’, we are now having to close our doors for the final time.

“We are very disappointed that, despite all of our efforts, Glasgow City Council were unable to see the bigger picture of what our small charity actually does and what we have achieved, contributing to their environmental policies and net zero aims. 

“They were unable to find us a permanent home and instead passed us onto City Property to try and achieve this. 

“The knock-on effect of GPA closure is that many more tonnes of items will now find their way directly to landfill and make it more difficult for GCC to achieve their net zero aims.”

On a recent visit to the charity, Green MSP Patrick Harvie said he was “hugely impressed with the breadth of work being done” by GPA.

The Glasgow Times revealed in February that closure looked likely unless a suitable home could be found, and the charity was given a six-month extension.

Sarah added: “We had been looking at a potential property which would have been ideal. It needed quite a lot of work and we were in negotiations with regards to rent, but it was not financially viable.

“Another temporary move would be both physically and financially draining, so it is just not possible. We have exhausted all avenues.”

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Since opening its doors in 1984, the charity has helped around 780 businesses and supported more than 13,000 individuals and groups in accessing recycled materials. It has supported 24,500 volunteers and saved more than 200 tonnes of waste from going to landfill since it started weighing items in 2009. “The actual total is much, much more, as we have only been recording it for 14 years,” added Sarah.

In addition to its recycling and scrap store services, GPA runs a community room providing pre-loved household items, clothes, shoes and toys at cheaper prices.

A statement from the GPA board thanked “the people of Bridgeton, who welcomed us and supported us from the first day we opened in Muslin Street, our fantastic donators and funders, Scottish Labour Councillor for the Calton ward, Cecilia O’Lone, Gordon Smith from City Properties for his continued help and support and Spectrum Properties for agreeing to rent out Muslin Street, which gave us an extra 21 months.”

It added: “A very special mention goes to Sarah, who has been involved with GPA for 26 years, Margaret who has been involved with GPA for 38 years and Jim who has been involved for 20 years.  Without their drive, dedication, knowledge and continued support GPA would not be what it is today.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: "Officers have been supporting the organisation but currently we have been unable to identify anything in the GCC estate that meets their requirements.

"Due to the size of the building they were looking for - 9000 sqft - we were not able to identify a suitable site. We also passed them to City Property but they were unable to identify a venue either."