A charity soup kitchen has secured an indoor premises ahead of the coldest winter months after years of campaigning.

Homeless Project Scotland will have a safe and warm building in Merchant City to continue their lifesaving work for three months as the bitter cold sets in.

We reported last week that the charity was forced to move from Argyle Street to Broomielaw Street for almost three months after claims of “bullying and intimidation” from traders who had sent a petition to Network Rail and the council to force the charity to move.

Glasgow Times: Colin and BarryColin and Barry (Image: Barry Cushley)

Following the controversy, Glasgow businessman Barry Cushley offered the charity a new home for three months in the basement of a building his company owns on Glassford Street.

They hope to have the new centre up and running by the end of next week.

After it was revealed that 244 people died in Scotland while homeless, charity boss Colin McInnes hailed the new space as life-saving.

Homeless Project Scotland has been working towards securing an indoor "safe sanctuary" for those struggling in the city since the organisation was founded in 2019.

Mr McInnes said: “We are over the moon, this is what we have been working towards since the very start – creating a safe space for the people who need it most.

“This is 100 per cent going to save lives, it will massively reduce the number of deaths on the streets this winter in Glasgow.

“A safe, warm place for us to work, to feed and look after people, is all we have wanted - and now we have it.

"We want to create a 24-hour welfare centre to provide shelter, warmth and hot food to homeless and vulnerable people.

“It’s the first of its kind in the UK and we plan to run this for three months to preserve life in the depths of winter.

“We have this building for the next three months initially, so the coldest, most dangerous time of the year.

“It means the world to us – Mr Cushley has done something no one else in the city has been willing to, he has turned over an area of a building to us to do whatever we need to do to help people."

Glasgow Times:

An agreement is currently being drawn up and volunteers will be able to move in and adapt the space once the keys are handed over.

Mr Cushley, who runs investment firm C&C Group, and intermediary Nick, of High Street pub McChuills, reached out to Mr McInnes to set up the agreement.

Mr McInnes said: “It’s an incredible thing and means so much. We just want to help people and we can now help so many more.”

The basement of a premium building in Mr Cushley's portfolio will be signed over for exclusive use by Homeless Project Scotland for three months but the executive says he hopes to help out even more.

Mr Cushley said: “It broke my heart to see what the team at Homeless Project Scotland are going through with moving to an area they felt unsafe and now going back to where they’d been chased from. I felt I had to do something.

“I am fortunate to be in a position where I can do something to help Mr McInnes and his team right now, to get their people and the families they help off the streets for the coldest months of the year.

“We have been able to give them full use of a private, warm, dry, safe and secure area of a building we own.

"We have agreed it’s initially for the next three months – Mr McInnes will have the keys and it’s theirs to operate and manage as they need it."

He added: “I’ve made mistakes in my life when I was a young idiot but I’m a different guy now and just want to help bring about good things for people who need it – I got a second chance and want to give that to others.

"It’s vital – everyone deserves a second chance.

“I really want to give something back to the city and this feels like an important thing – I HAD to do this.

"I couldn’t stand by and see stories of people not being safe when they’re doing such amazing work.

“This is just the beginning for Homeless Project Scotland and my team – there are a lot of ideas already about other ways we can maybe help out in the near future and way beyond that too. This is just the start, I promise.

“And if anyone else can help – please do. I’ve tried to support individuals before but it rarely works, sadly.

"If you want to really help, work with the people who know how to use that help, like Homeless Project Scotland."