AN UNDER threat Duntocher community facility has been saved after a group of spirited residents stepped in to save the day. Council bosses had initially revealed two years ago that they were planning on selling off the Duntocher Hall.

But residents recently joined together to ensure the much-loved facility is kept open in order to benefit the area.

The group behind the rescue bid say they are looking to turn the facility into something the entire area can be proud of and hope it will be used by the young and those who are young at heart.

Speaking after Provost McAllister handed over the keys to the hall, committee member John Gibbons said: "The kids from the local schools, Carleith, St Mary's and Goldenhill have been there and they seem really interested in taking part in doing up the hall, both inside and outside.

"We want to involve the kids in the community as much as possible in this project and have them helping to get it up and running. "This hall is for the community, not just one or two people. We want the kids to feel a sense of ownership of the building and we want them all to work together to try and break down some of the barriers that exist in our community." John believes the hall could play a big part in keeping the spirit of the area going and said they are looking to put on activities for older members of the community to get them out and about on a regular basis.

He added: "We are looking to organise a few dances for the different age groups on the area for the kids to come along and have some fun. There is not a lot for them to do in the area and we hope they come along here to meet their friends and have a good time.

"But we will also be looking at the possibility of doing things during the day for the older members of the community to come and enjoy the hall too.

"At the end of the day this hall is for everyone in the community and we want it to be used as often as possible.

"We even have a Facebook page, Duntocher Village Hall, and we will be putting all of the things that will be happening on there so that people can see what we are doing." Group secretary Phyllis Gillan said: "This has been two years in the making and I am delighted we are finally there.

"Selina Ross from CVS (Community Volunteer Service) has been a great help and we have also received tremendous support from the Provost in terms of this project.

"But we do need more help from people as this is for everyone in the community, so we want to hear people's ideas as to what they want to see in the hall.

"There are not too many communities left but that is what I believe Duntocher is, and this hall proves that." Provost Douglas McAllister said: "I am delighted to hand over the hall to the people of Duntocher and the strong sense of community in the area never ceases to amaze me. We have exciting plans for the future use of the Village Hall and I am sure the facility, which is in the heart of the neighbourhood, will allow residents to start new clubs and will benefit many generations to come."