Centre 81 is situated at the head of the Gare Loch in the picturesque highland village of Garelochhead on the Clyde coast. Only an hour away from Glasgow with excellent road and rail links, ten minutes from the tourist town of Helensburgh and twenty minutes from Loch Lomond. We are open all year round to supply your needs. Whether you are a group or business looking for a comfortable venue for a seminar, a function, accommodation, catering, a sports hall, outdoor equipment hire or team building event, Centre 81 has everything you need. With our many community events, clubs and classes as well as our café & gym we have something for everyone.
Centre 81 is a Social Enterprise and is the trading subsidiary of Project 81 Youth and Community Enterprise, a charitable company which exists to improve the quality of life for people in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.
All profits generated from the use of Centre 81 go towards ensuring the sustainability and long-term viability of Project 81.
Project 81 Youth and Community Enterprise Ltd is the new name for The Route 81 Youth Project which was formed in 2002 when representatives from Garelochhead and Portincaple Community Trust, Garelochhead Parish Church and local young people began meeting to address concerns over the lack of amenities for young people in the community. From some very simple early research, a need was clearly identified for a permanent place in the community where young people could meet and which they could call their own.
In order to achieve that longer-term goal, some short-term steps needed to be taken and Route 81 Youth Project was formed, using the church halls for its premises. A management committee was formed, charitable status sought and obtained and funding secured to employ two part-time workers. In time, the project became a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
Whilst the Youth Project grew steadily over the years and went from strength to strength, the long-term goal was never forgotten. In April 2009 after a lot of extremely hard work, much of it in partnership with Community Links Scotland who provided an enormous amount of help and support along the way, funding was secured through the generosity of the BIG Lottery, Scottish Rural Development Programme, Climate Challenge Fund, C.A.R.E.S., Scottish Power Green Energy Trust and the Scottish Government. Route 81 purchased the former Garelochhead Outdoor Education Centre formally owned by East Dunbartonshire Council.
The Centre soon started its refurbishment process, it was clear that the scope of this building far exceeded the potential use which the young people alone might make of it and a broader vision of its potential use by the whole community began to emerge. It was then decided that a commercial element had to be put in place to maintain the sustainability of the project and provide a much needed facility within the community.
Centre 81 opened its doors to the world in March 2011 and has already been received with enthusiasm by the young people – who finally have that elusive home of their own for the youth project – as well as by the local community and the commercial users who have already taken advantage of its extensive and flexible facilities.
Centre 81 has much as-yet untapped potential and we look forward to watching it grow and develop in the time ahead.
In 2013 the project changed its name to reflect its growing involvement with the whole community. It is now known as Project 81 Youth and Community Enterprise Ltd.