£1.44m Secured For Johnston School, Kirkcudbright

Creetown Initiative has successfully secured £180,000 from The Robertson Trust on behalf of Kirkcudbright Development Trust for the redevelopment of Johnston School in Kirkcudbright, taking the current funding total up to £1.44million! Other funders for this community-centred project include The Big Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund, The Holywood Trust, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Historic Council.

Community Activity and Resource Centre

The former Johnston School was closed in 2009 when the new Kirkcudbright Primary School opened. Exciting plans will see the redevelopment of Johnston School into a community activity and resource centre, with many different elements designed to provide facilities and opportunities for the whole community. This includes a youth work wing, Police Scotland contact space, childcare venue, business/office spaces, general room/venue hire for community groups and organisations and also a state of the art Dark Skies Visitor Centre.

Click here for more information about the redevelopment of Johnston School.

Feasibility Study for Castle Douglas Community Centre

Creetown Initiative is pleased to be able to work with the Management Committee of Castle Douglas Community Centre, to provide a feasibility study. This feasibility study will investigate whether the Management Group should take over ownership of the community centre building. We secured this contract in early December and work will begin on this very shortly.

Castle Douglas Community Centre is currently run for the community by a voluntary management committee, however Dumfries and Galloway Council still retain ownership of the building. There are 29 groups that use the centre during week days 10am – 4pm. There is also a conference suit available for hire with tabled seating for 30+ people and included in the hire is the use of a TV, DVD Player, Flip chart and Whiteboard. To date, the Management Committee has applied for and received funding from The Holywood Trust, The Village Halls Improvement Scheme and The Galloway Association of Glasgow which has enabled a part re-decoration and refurbishment of the centre.

Kirkmichael Community Action Plan

Creetown Initiative has been engaged to develop a Community Action for Kirkmichael, on behalf of Kirkmichael Community Council. Kirkmichael is a parish 8 miles north of Dumfries with a population of around 683 and the two main population areas are Nethermill and Parkgate. Kirkmichael is entitled to wind farm benefit funds and we are creating a robust Community Action Plan to research, analyse and draw up a plan to report the best ways to use these funds to improve the community and local area.

For information about other community action plans we have carried out, please click here, or contact us.

Coldstream Community Action Plan

Since March 2016 we have been working on developing a new Community Action Plan for the community of Coldstream, in the Scottish Borders.  The plan is being designed to provide a researched, up-to-date understanding of Coldstream, and to propose appropriate actions for improvement and regeneration within six broad fields: Tourism, Retail, Industry, Young Families, the Elderly and Community Capacity.

Vibrant Community

Coldstream has a vibrant community and fascinating history, with over 60 community groups.

Photo credit: Jason Patient

The town is roughly midway in journey time between Edinburgh and Newcastle upon Tyne and on one of only five arterial roads crossing the length of the Scottish-English border. Coldstream is centre to a surrounding agriculturally fertile and historic region. Following doscussions in 2016, Coldstream Community Trust and Coldstream and District Community Council, formed a steering group. With four representatives from each committee, the group guided the production of a new new community action plan, for which, we have been engaged.

Please click here for examples of other community action plans.

 

Kirkcudbright Development Trust – Multi-stranded Community Projects

Creetown Initiative has been working with the newly formed Kirkcudbright Development Trust to develop a series of community projects, aiming to provide opportunities for residents and improve the local economy of Kirkcudbright. We landed the contract at the end of 2015 and are pleased with how Kirkcudbright Development Trust are really beginning to establish their community engagement via the development of multi-stranded community projects.

 

Johnston School

A key project has been the redevelopment of the former Johnston School into a community activity and resource centre that will provide a range of services and facilities to will benefit the community as a whole. It will:

  • have multiple spaces for multiple uses and user groups, including community groups, childcare providers and education and training programme providers
  • attract businesses to set up or relocate into the building, bringing trade and economic benefits into the town
  • have a youth work wing that is accessible to all local young people, with appropriate facilities and services to enable local youngsters to flourish and meet their full potential. The newly established Kirkcudbright Youth Project will relocate here
  • provide an information and contact point for Police Scotland to operate out of
  • provide a venue for a Galloway Dark Skies Visitor Centre.

Check back in the coming months to find out the progress that has been made to secure funds and develop this exciting project further.

 

Dark Skies Visitor Centre

Dark Skies Visitor Centre will attract both the serious astronomer and those who have more of a Sci-Fi interest. The Johnston School is situated at the head of major road that leads to the Dark Skies Park and we believe that as well as providing a tourist attraction for Kirkcudbright, we will also act as promotional vehicle that helps push more people north into the Dark Skies Park. This will benefit the communities situated in the Dark Skies Park area, and Dumfries and Galloway in general. In the plans there is a small scale planetarium, interactive exhibits and we are helping the Trust to work with the Glasgow Science Centre to ensure Kirkcudbright Dark Skies Experience is outstanding.

 

Silvercraigs Caravan Park

We have been working with the Trust to initiate the community take over of the Silvercraigs Caravan park, which was formerly council run. The park is now under a service level agreement with Dumfries and Galloway Council and a core group of volunteers from the Development Trust have been working hard to make improvements to the site, including upgrading the electric hook ups to 16amps, installing heating in the toilets, installing free wifi and general tidying and improvements.

 

Kirkcudbright Youth Project

Three new part time youth workers have been employed by Kirkcudbright Development Trust since March 2017 and they are being line managed by the Creetown Initiative Senior Youth Worker to develop youth provision in Kirkcudbright. After a few months of consultations and detached (street) youth work, a weekly youth project began in May 2017 and runs term time on Wednesday nights, currently in the Scout Hall, for young people p6 – S1 (juniors) 6pm – 7:30pm, and S2 – S6 or age 17 (seniors) 7:30pm – 9pm.

Stranraer Oyster Festival – Official 2017 Dates!

Creetown Initiative can now reveal the official 2017 dates of the Stranraer Oyster Festival – 15th – 17th September!

Since November 2015 we have been working with Stranraer Development Trust to secure funds and support them to develop a Stranraer Oyster Festival – major annual international festival that will celebrate not only the famous Loch Ryan oysters (Scotland’s only wild, native oyster bed) but also all other local produce.

Unique to Stranraer

The unique natural resource of Loch Ryan Oysters is an asset to the town that is not currently used to its full potential.  At present oyster are sent around the world but the connection with Stranraer is not recognised. The festival provides the opportunity to make this connection, increase visitor numbers to the town and support the economy of both the town and surrounds. Although the event will be called the Stranraer Oyster Festival and they will certainly be the headline, all local produce from land and sea will be included, thereby supporting all local producers.

Oysters are considered a luxury food, but oyster festivals are by no means elitist. Oyster festivals tend to take the oyster as a focal point and then create a celebration of local food, local culture and the local community around it. As Scotland’s only wild and native oyster fishery there is a huge opportunity here for Stranraer to use its unique oyster and coastal heritage to create a festival of national significance.

New Jobs and Community Support

A fantastic sum has been secured by Chris Hanna, one of our project workers, to fund all aspects of the Stranraer Oyster Festival and has allowed the Trust to employ a Festival Officer, a Youth Programme Co-ordinator and a Festival Assistant. An oyster festival has been talked about for some time by various groups and organisations and we know from initial talks that there is excitement and huge support for the event.

Other projects we have helped Stranraer Development Trust to carry out to date include Stranraer in Bloom floral enhancements and the setting up of a Resilience Fund.

 

Stranraer in Bloom

Creetown Initiative has supported the development of ‘Stranraer in Bloom’ , as part of our work with Stranraer Development Trust. £10,000 was raised from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme to purchase specially designed self-watering planters for the town centre of Stranraer.  The funds also paid for compost and plants to create a range of floral enhancements around the town. Now, and additional £5,000 has been secured from the Tesco Bags of Help fund to put further planters along the seafront.

Community Help

Stranraer in Bloom is a project that encourages volunteers of all ages from the community to help maintain and water the planters and make Stranraer a beautiful place to live and visit. Six young people from Belmont Primary School (pictured below), along with the gardening club leader Mr Dougie Hannah helped the Trust to plant up the flower bed in Market Street and have done a fantastic job!

It is great to see the community of Stranraer to work together to help improve the facilities, economy and community spirit of their town.

Another Action Plan, for Kirkcolm!

 

From one end of the county to the other, we are now also working in Kirkcolm to produce a community action plan for Kirkcolm Community Council. A few months ago we began work on the development of a community action plan in Canonbie, to the far east of Dumfries and Galloway. Now, 112 miles across the county to the western Rhinns peninsular on the banks of Loch Ryan, we are working in Kirkcolm.

Wind Farm Money

Kirkcolm is due around £27,500 per annum of wind farm money for the next 25 years from the Glen App wind farm, to support the well being of the Parish of Kirkcolm. Creetown Initiative is supporting Kirkcolm Community Council to set up a charitable trust to manage the community benefit funds. We are also going to be creating a community action plan that the new trust can work from, designed to be of insight, use and advantage for the whole parish and for local groups seeking to improve or create services for local people. We will begin by creating a community questionnaire and develop the plan from there.

Stranraer Resilience Fund – Helping Communities

Creetown Initiative has been supporting Stranraer Development Trust to set up the Stranraer Resilience Fund. This is an opportunity for local community groups and organisations to apply for funds to alleviate the effects of welfare reform in disadvantaged communities in Stranraer. It is being supported by the Scottish Government via Development Trust Association Scotland. Stranraer Development Trust is administering the fund on their behalf.

Local community organisations can apply for a Stranraer Resilience Fund grant of between £500 and £2,000. The process is simple and quick. 

Projects must have a focus on one or more of these specific themes:

Financial awareness

Young people in need

Support for vulnerable groups

Eating healthy on a budget

Care for carers

 

Stranraer Development Trust are asking for interested groups to email stranraerdevelopmenttrust@gmail.com for a form and further information. We have been pleased to be able to support Stranraer Development Trust to develop this opportunity.