RESIDENTS and potential gardeners joined together at the weekend for the ribbon cutting of new community growing space in Whitecrook.

Clydebank MSP Gil Paterson formally opened Centre81’s “growing spaces” project on Saturday, complete with 14 raised beds for growing fruit and vegetables.

Trainee green thumbs will get expert guidance from gardener Donald Campbell, who will also run gardening workshops throughout the year.

Resident Frank Lamont was presented with the volunteer of the year award at the opening to honour his dedication to the community garden.

There are just three places left on the growing spaces project thanks to initial interest.

Mr Paterson said: “It has long been known that gardening has a really positive effect on people.

“There is nothing quite like eating the fruits of your own labour, not only is the fruit and veg you grow yourself fresh and nutritious, somehow it just seems to taste better too.

“This excellent project will also give people the chance to get out in the fresh air and have a bit of a chat with the other gardeners as well as learn about gardening from Donald. It’s a really positive scheme and it is no wonder it is so popular.”

Centre81, which recently marked 10 years in Whitecrook, aims for the fruit and veg to help promote healthy eating and exercise in the area, as well as having a positive effect on mental health and giving a chance for social interaction.

Ryan told the Post: “I would like to add that we are really pleased with the turnout and the positive response from the community.

“We want to thank Frank for all his hard work, people like him are a great asset to the centre and without the volunteers work like this couldn’t be done.”

The raised beds are free and residents just have to sign a tenancy agreement to use them.