THE founder of an Old Kilpatrick food bank admits she was left in “stunned silence” when she realised just how big the job of redeveloping the Napier Hall is.

Maureen Cummings and her Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels (OKFP) charity took lease of the ageing building on October 1 with plans to relocate her community hub on Station Road there and then open it up to locals once she had spent some time modernising it.

But she insists she wasn’t ready for what she claims she discovered when she entered the hall, with rotting walls, unsafe electrical wiring, damp, and unkempt toilets just some of the problems she encountered.

Clydebank Post: The wallpaper is coming down in the buildingThe wallpaper is coming down in the building (Image: Tom Grant)

Clydebank Post: Work has already begun to restore the buildingWork has already begun to restore the building (Image: Tom Grant)

Now, Maureen explained she isn’t fazed by the task at hand and revealed work has already begun to bring the building into the 21st century.

Speaking to the Clydebank Post during a visit, she said: “When we submitted our bid to lease the Napier Hall, we knew there would be a lot of work involved.

“However, it was not until we took possession of the keys on October 1 that we realised the enormity of the job ahead.

“There was a stunned silence as our management committee walked from room to room seeing first-hand the overall condition of the building.

“We could not have ever imagined it was in such a poor state of repair, however, it didn’t faze us.

“I am now project managing the site and the multiple trades that are helping us to rebuild this fantastic building.

“Every day brings its challenges of course but there is progress at the end of each shift.”

Clydebank Post: Many parts of the building haven't been touched for yearsMany parts of the building haven't been touched for years (Image: Tom Grant)

Clydebank Post: Parts of it are riddled by mouldParts of it are riddled by mould (Image: Tom Grant)

Maureen and her volunteers plan to continue the work of helping the most vulnerable in the community with food, toiletries and social events, just as she has been doing at Station Road since she started the group in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with early estimates quoting around £300,000 to restore and upgrade the original building, together with the planned extension for OKFP’s HQ, Maureen explained she is committed to restoring the Napier Hall to its former glory, with funding applications submitted and several investors already secured and committed to the exciting project.

Maureen finished: “The team of contractors, funders, investors, volunteers and staff we have are totally committed to restoring our Community Hall.

“It’s time to put a lot of TLC back into a building that has given so many memories to local families over the years.”