Thursday 1 February: 20.00–21.00
Interior designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan continue the challenge of transforming a Glasgow housing estate. In this last programme they attempt to create a welcoming community hall and a youth club that will help keep the estate’s kids out of mischief.
Over the course of the series, Colin and Justin have created a show flat, initiated a project to tackle the estate’s litter problem and set up a cybercafé. Now they turn their attention to creating a community hall. The existing hall seems to cater exclusively for pensioners’ bingo get-togethers and looks dull and uncared-for, with dark-painted walls that remind Justin of “the inside of a child’s nappy.” To find out how to improve matters, the first step is to call a meeting of the women who run the hall and the residents who would like to make use of it in the future. A few bottles of wine later, everyone seems to be positive about the possibilities.
But, as ever, money is a sticking point. Colin and Justin estimate that they need £25,000 to bring about the revamp they are hoping for. Their trusty assistant Roseanne joins forces with the staff of the hall to apply for a variety of grants. A few weeks later, they receive some disheartening rejections. Gradually, however, the positive responses trickle through, promising a grant of £5,000, a donation of £4,000 by a local supermarket, and £2,000-worth of free materials from a builders’ merchant. Their final grant application also proves successful, bringing the total budget to an impressive £16,000 – less than they had hoped for, but enough to tackle the main jobs.
The transformation takes place over a two-week period when the hall is closed for the summer. Roseanne joins forces with some volunteers from the estate to pull up the flooring and help out with other tasks, while contractors are brought in to install a new kitchen and much-needed new toilets. Wood panelling, new flooring and stylish pendant lighting gives the main hall a total makeover that leaves Kathy, one of its staff, bowled over. “It’s a dream!” she says tearfully.
It remains to be seen whether the revamp of the community hall will make a real difference to life on the estate. In the meantime, Colin and Justin have another challenge on their hands. They are determined to create a youth club to keep the estate’s kids off the streets and give them a place to get together.
Delighted to be awarded money from the Lottery Fund, the pair set about planning a youth club that will meet the needs of the community. But it quickly dawns on them that this will not go far when it comes to creating a high-quality facility from scratch, plus recruiting staff to run it. “After all the planning and heartache comes the sad realisation of what that cash can achieve,” says a downcast Justin. Can they find a way to supplement the existing budget?