CONCERNED Drumchapel residents raised fears over the safety of a “nightmare” derelict community centre before it went up in flames.

Members of the community surrounding the former Stonedyke Neighbourhood Centre have been calling for its demolition to prevent any further incidents at the site.

Clydebank Post: An image of the former Stonedyke Neighbourhood Community Centre taken on Friday, September 1An image of the former Stonedyke Neighbourhood Community Centre taken on Friday, September 1 (Image: Colin Mearns)

Fire crews, however, were sent to the Belsyde Avenue building after a blaze broke out on Saturday.

Clydebank Post: The Belsyde Avenue building following the fire on Saturday, September 2The Belsyde Avenue building following the fire on Saturday, September 2 (Image: Contributed)

Firefighters spent over 10 hours tackling the fire before it was eventually extinguished during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Clydebank Post:

Images from the scene show the building was severely damaged and almost gutted by the flames.

It has now been secured off with fencing to prevent people from accessing it.

One resident explained that prior to the incident they had given up on phoning the police as there was “nothing they could do” to prevent anti-social behaviour (ASB) from taking place at the once thriving community hub.

Their comments come after emergency services were called to the centre various times in the past few years – including once in 2021 and as recently as August 26 – following reports it had been set alight. 

Clydebank Post: The inside of the centre prior to the fire The inside of the centre prior to the fire (Image: Colin Mearns)

They said: “It’s been a nightmare, a total nightmare. My wee one gets so worked up if he hears banging at the building, he gets into some states.

“It’s got to the point now that I’ve stopped phoning the police as they can’t do anything. One time officers pulled up and put their sirens on and the groups ran down behind the trees and managed to get away.

“It’s a shame as it was a good wee community centre and somebody could have had use of it but it’s just gone to waste.”

Clydebank Post:

The Stonedyke Neighbourhood Centre officially opened in 1996 after years of campaigning by the Stonedyke Residents Association.

Clydebank Post:

It went on to become a focal point of the local and wider Drumchapel community offering a huge range of social, educational, recreational, and cultural activities such as a café, laundry service, computer suite, gym, allotments, and more. It was also turned into a nursery later down the line. 

Clydebank Post:

It is understood that the building, which is managed by City Property on behalf of Glasgow City Council, officially closed in 2019 and has lain empty for the last four years.

Clydebank Post:

A second resident, who used to work at the nursery, told the Post the building was in the worst state they had ever seen it [prior to the fire].

They added: “I used to work in the nursery a long time ago when it was a nursery. I have a big fear of kids getting hurt at it because there are youths ranging from seven/eight to teenagers who go there daily.

“The building is now lying wide open to the elements and it’s only a matter of time before somebody does get hurt. It’s ridiculous.

“I tried to inspect it most days by taking a walk around to see how bad it is and that’s the worst I’ve ever seen it.

“The council have been out like three or four times to fix things like the gates as they were practically coming off of their hinges.

“They also had to redo all of the gratings to stop people getting in but nothing does. They must be so strong as they [GCC] soldered everything to make it secure.

“It [ASB incidents] has gradually got worse. They set the building on fire last Saturday (August 26), and it’s only a matter of time before it’s on fire again.”

Clydebank Post:

An investigation into the blaze is currently ongoing with police confirming they are treating it as “unexplained”.

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A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of a fire at a building on Belsyde Avenue in Glasgow around 5.30pm on Saturday, September 2.

 “Officers attended to assist the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

 “The fire is being treated as unexplained and enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”

City Property has been contacted for comment.