A BUSINESSMAN credited with championing the communities of Inverclyde and creating a springboard for new enterprise has been recognised for his determination to make a difference.
Bruce Newlands, of Gourock, is a driving force behind Inverclyde Shed, as well as being the owner of the McGilp pop-up on Kempock Street in his home town.
His hard work has been recognised as part of the Scotland Loves Local Awards, at which he was named as a runner-up in the High Street Hero category.
Organised by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the awards recognise and reward the remarkable work taking place to improve communities, from tackling the climate emergency to transforming streets and creating great places to live.
The nomination stated: “Bruce moved to our town only a few short years ago. However, he has fully immersed himself in trying to build a better Inverclyde through his work.
“He helped set up the Inverclyde Shed to target social exclusion and has built that to a substantial membership, negotiated community asset transfer for an unused property and been instrumental in securing funding to regenerate it into a community resource.
“An architect to trade, he has a vision and direction to lead on building some fabulous creative ideas for the new space and the many people who use it.
“In addition, he is involved in community growing projects all over Inverclyde, with one orchard space just off the main shopping street of Gourock. He works hard at bringing communities together and involving as many as possible in his work.”
Through his art business, TRANCND, Bruce has also been responsible for ‘guerrilla’ lighting installations of art by schoolchildren and as part of local light festivals.
On his work at McGilps pop-up shop, the nomination added: “‘He has created a space for new and micro businesses to bring their products to the high street with minimal risk. This beautifully restored shop really adds value to the street.
“He really is the epitome of a high street hero — one of life’s genuinely nice guys.”
Bruce said: “I was humbled to be nominated for this award and even more so to read about others’ work in their communities. I’d just to thank everyone at the shed. It exists for its members who all play an active role in making it the success that it is.”
STP Chairman, Professor Leigh Sparks, said: “The dedication of people to deliver for their community never fails to amaze us.
“Our finalists and award winners stand testament to the innovation and determination which will create better town centres as part of a stronger, more sustainable Scotland. Their communities should be very proud of them.”