A lifeline service for the city's most vulnerable women will close after almost 20 years due to a series of devastating budget cuts.

Turning Point 218 will close next February after Glasgow City Council offered the service an "unworkable" budget of £650,000, down from a budget of £1.37 million that was agreed in March.

Heartbroken staff members told the Glasgow Times that they were "absolutely devastated" about the closure.

A spokesperson for Unite, the union representing workers at the service, said: "This month they were meant to be marking 20 years of the project and now the plug has been pulled before they can even celebrate."

They added: "This service has saved many lives. It's prolonged lives and it has given hope to women."

Glasgow Times:

The 218 service, run by Turning Point Scotland (TPS), currently operates eight residential beds for women with a criminal justice background and complex needs.

But the women could be turned out on the streets, go to jail or return to abusive partners as a result of the closure, the union warns.

Patrick McKay, director of operations at TPS, said the organisation was "deeply saddened" by the outcome and the impact it would have on the vulnerable women the service supports.

In March this year, TPS and the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) held a joint review of the 218 service and agreed to a budget of £1.37 million.

READ MORE: 'Turning Point 218 saved my life now I love working here'

READ MORE: Glasgow Turning Point 218 at risk of collapse after budget cut

But in September, the blindsided organisation was told by the council that the budget, or service tender, had been slashed and 218 would only qualify for £650,000, less than half of the agreed amount.

In response, Turning Point decided not to bid for the tender because it was impossible to operate a residential unit on the proposed amount.

Mr McKay explained: "Following this review, an ‘accommodation with support- female residential service’ tender was released with an approximate 50% cut to a maximum of £650,00.

"TPS had no prior knowledge of Glasgow City HSCP's intention to cut the budget for the service by approximately 50%.

"From reading the service specification within the ongoing tender it was our understanding that the service would still provide eight beds.

"TPS took the difficult decision to not bid for the tender as the residential provision as configured could not be delivered."

Glasgow Times:

The budget offered by the council for a women's residential service was so low that no other social care provider went for it, a Unite spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the HSCP said: “A retendering process for the service resulted in no one bidding for the women’s residential service.

“Officers have been in discussions with Turning Point who have advised they will be closing the current service in February 2024. 

“We will now undertake a review of future provision of this service.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government confirmed that the overall funding available for community justice service had not been reduced and local authorities had not been asked to cut any funding within that.

They added: “Decisions about the provision and commissioning of individual community justice services, including any re-tendering exercises, are a matter for local authorities based on local needs.”

The HR and management teams at TPS will be prioritising support for all staff within the service, which the union claims will either be absorbed by Turning Point or made redundant.