A HELENSBURGH charity for people with learning disabilities has taken a “step in the right direction” for providing much needed support services in the town, it has been claimed.

The Burgh office of Enable Scotland, which has been based in the former Clydesdale Bank building on James Street for 11 years, is set to move into new premises at the site of the old Santander building, on the corner of West Princes Street and Sinclair Street.

The news was confirmed this week that the organisation will take over the unit which had been listed for rent at a cost of £40,000 per annum.

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A spokesperson for Enable Scotland told the Advertiser: “It is the intention to occupy the premises by April 1, once the building is fit for purpose.

“This is a very positive move for the people we support and the Enable staff.

“The new building is accessible to our service users and will allow us to provide group activities for supported people, have areas to meet with families and deliver training to staff, all within the one premises.”

The charity had faced questions over whether taking on the prime town centre location was a suitable use of limited resources.

However the charity spokesperson said the new premises, which will now provide Disability Equality Act compliance, will actually see a reduction in spending costs.

Helensburgh resident Debbie Gordon, who has two children with disabilities, praised the move.

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She said: “We provide all the required care for our two sons ourselves and only used Enable briefly about 10 years ago but my hope is that this new location might open up accessibility for more of the community who require the services of Enable.

“Much like the Dementia Resource Centre [in West Princess Street] that can be used for information as well as drop-in sessions and events, I really hope the new venue for Enable might facilitate similar things and open up new opportunities.”

Santander vacated the premises in April last year as part of a nationwide cull of branches, and Debbie said the new tenants will reap the benefits.

She added: “Services in Helensburgh for people with complex learning disabilities are shockingly poor and while my adult sons don’t, at present, use Enable this is a step in the right direction for providing much needed support services.”

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