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.

Canonbie Community Action Plan

We have recently been engaged by Canonbie and District Residents Association (CaDRA) to carry out a Community Action Plan for Canonbie. Although 75 miles away from Creetown with a 1 hour 40 minute drive time, Canonbie is located in our massive home county of Dumfries and Galloway.

CaDRA was granted charitable status as a Development Trust at the end of 2014 and the group has been working to try to establish the best way forward for the small town, which will make the most of the local assets, whilst meeting the needs of the local community. Creetown Initiative will be carrying out the research and community consultations designed to meet these aims and we will produce a thorough Community Action Plan as a result of this work, which will be used by CaDRA to initiate community projects and development. We’re looking forward to getting started with this project and hope to have this process completed by March 2017.

Two New Consultancy Projects for Creetown Initiative!

We have two new exciting consultancy projects to work on, here at Creetown Initiative!

We have just begun working with Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust and our role will be to mentor their transition project to become more sustainable. CVCWT is a partnership between Dumfries and Galloway Council, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Freshfield Foundation, Galloway Estates, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Community Councils and private landowners. They are concerned with the value of the local woodlands in contributing to tourism, recreation and biodiversity. We will be helping the Trust to progress with their projects and become more sustainable by carrying out an organisational review.

Our other project is with the New Galloway Community Enterprise group. We will be supporting the work of this proactive group, who are hoping to take over and save the village shop. The village shop in rural New Galloway is an essential service for local residents and visitors to the village and in the near future the facility will close due to the retirement of the owner. Creetown Initiative’s role will be to provide research and development work, to assist the New Galloway Enterprise group to take over and run the village shop.

For more information about other projects we are working on, please click here, or alternatively, check out our news page or Facebook account to keep up to date.

Stranraer Development Trust Becomes a Registered Charity!

Stranraer Development Trust has now been awarded Charitable Status! Creetown Initiative has been working with the group to lead on its development and it has now been successfully launched as a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation).

We will be working with them to support the delivery of their aims, which are to achieve sustainable regeneration of the community of Stranraer. Stranraer Development Trust will be addressing a range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues. A number of exciting projects are in the pipeline that will increase opportunities, improve the attractiveness of the town, attract more visitors and revive the lost sense of pride in the town and what it has to offer.

Become a Member

For more information about Stranraer Development Trust and how to become a member please visit their website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep checking back here to keep up to date with the development of some exciting projects for Stranraer!

Official Re-Opening Night of Dumfries Theatre Royal

“I loved that little theatre in Dumfries, for which Robert Burns once wrote prologues. I had the good fortune to frequent it in what was one of its greatest years”, J.M Barrie (1930), The Greenwood Hat.

Last night we were invited to the official re-opening night of Dumfries Theatre Royal; a Celebration of the Past, Present and Future, to watch young and old tread the boards of the historically fascinating and innately charming Georgian building.  Creetown Initiative were invited as guests due to our role in securing a large proportion of the funds required to carry out the renovation works of the theatre and we marvelled at the spectacular performances of live music, poetry, readings, drama and speeches. After a welcoming speech from the Master of the Guild of Players, Anne Aldridge (the owners of the theatre), the Strumsum Blues Band opened the evening of entertainment with toe tapping numbers, followed by a variety of poetry, drama, songs and comedy, including actor Jimmy Chisholm, Gaelic language poet Angus MacMillian, musical theatre performer Michael Porter, the talents of the Junior Guild and the Guild of Players, Scots Language Poet Rab Wilson, The Singing Kettle duo Cilla Fisher and Artie Tresize, Sean Barbour and speeches from Provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale Ted Thompson and Joan McAlpine MSP.

The Theatre Royal in Dumfries is Scotland’s oldest working playhouse and was built in 1792, with Robert Burns as one of the original subscribers. In its 220 years, the theatre has seen many developments from Georgian theatre, to Victorian theatre, into modern cinema and it has taken on a few other roles in more recent times, including an auction house and a skating rink. The upkeep of the theatre has always been a challenge and the present owners, the Guild of Players, decided that crucial refurbishment and major renovations were needed to bring the building up to standard for the 21st century. That’s where Creetown Initiative stepped in! At the end of 2012, we were employed by the Guild of Players to develop a funding strategy and business plan and to carry out all of the fundraising aspects. We also carried out work on audience development, governance, collections management and marketing. In total, Creetown Initiative secured £1.1million towards the redevelopment costs.

The theatre now boasts a new studio with fully sprung floor, a new cafe-bar, set construction space, Junior Guild rehearsal rooms and media suite, costume hire shop, refurbished dressing rooms and backstage space, new theatre seating and refurbishment of the auditorium, making the navigation between the foyer, bar, auditorium and backstage more logical and better configured. For more information about the theatre please visit their website, www.theatreroyaldumfries.co.uk or better still, pop in!

The diagrams and photographs below show the changing appearance of the Theatre Royal over its 220 years. The first is a drawing of the Theatre Royal as originally built in 1792, with the pillared portico front. The second dates back to Victorian times, the third is the theatre before the works began 2 years ago, the fourth is the architects drawing of the new theatre and the final photograph is the new theatre, newly and proudly reopened.

Theatre-Royal-700x455

 

Creetown Initiative Lands Contract to Manage Projects in Kirkcudbright

Creetown Initiative has landed the contract to manage and develop a series of projects in Kirkcudbright. We will be working with a number of different community groups and charities in ‘The Artist’s Town’, with the intention of amalgamating the majority of the local groups into Kirkcudbright Development Trust.

 

Too Many Organisations

The people of Kirkcudbright have always been keen to get involved and volunteered regularly in good numbers. Over the years a number of groups were set-up to try and mitigate some of the issues that the community was facing, such as loss of employment opportunities, an ageing population, lack of investment and reduction of services. A lot of good work was done including a major capital project: the building of a community run swimming pool. However, over time, the number of organisations set-up started to have a negative impact in that it diluted resources (people and materials), caused duplication and it created inefficiency.

This was recognised and earlier this year a decision was taken to create an organisation that would coordinate activities, remove duplication and create a body that had the capacity to deliver major projects and which was well managed and efficient. Some of the existing groups will amalgamate into the new group, creating a strong, resilient, well-resourced organisation capable of delivering real change to the people of Kirkcudbright. Creetown Initiative has been tasked with managing the development of this new trust and to develop a number of exciting community projects in the pipeline.

 

Inaugural Meeting

With this in mind, there is an Inaugural Meeting on Monday 23rd November, Cochran Hall, 7:30pm for people to find out about how the Kirkcudbright Development Trust can help local groups and organisations and how it will lead in major initiatives.

Creative Industries Event

On Friday 9th October, we went along to the Creative Industries Event in Dalbeattie and ran a stall to talk about the local and national work Creetown Initiative carries out. The event was run by Business Gateway and Dumfries and Galloway Council and we met some interesting people from various creative fields. We used this opportunity to promote the arts and crafts co-operative opportunity to local artists and craft makers. The arts and crafts gallery will be housed within the new Creetown Enterprise Centre, along with many other exciting elements, and will be open by September 2016.

TGB Gatehouse

TGB Gatehouse is a church based organisation in Gatehouse of Fleet, which provides activity groups, including the arts, for primary aged children. The group now proposes to extend the scope of their activities and promote social justice through volunteering and intergenerational contacts and have engaged the services of Creetown Initiative.

We are delighted to be working with this inspirational group in their quest to appoint volunteers, empower individuals and provide support and learning opportunities for all sections of the community, including those who are disadvantaged. Specifically, Creetown Initiative will be working with the Volunteer Co-ordinator to develop a funding strategy and business plan.