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.

 

Stranraer’s First Oyster Festival a Massive Success

We are proud and delighted to have been able to support Stranraer Development Trust to create the immensely successful first Stranraer Oyster Festival.

Oysters all round!

Organisers have hailed the event a ‘massive success that exceeded all expectations’, with over 10,000 people visiting during the weekend.

Famous Faces

Mr Bloom wows the crowd

The three day festival saw sell out performances, demonstrations and events, with crowds flocking to see Hardeep Singh Kohli, Mr Bloom from Cbeebies and local spectacles, like the giant seafood paella created by John Henry of Henrys Bay House Restaurant. More than 500 people took part in the inaugural Big Oyster Bash at North West Castle, a highlight of which was a rendition of Bonnie Gallowa’ by 17 year old Stranraer Academy pupil Kathleen McClenaghan.

Three Thousands Oysters Consumed!

Three thousand oysters (a third of a tonne), were consumed over the weekend, many of them by people who had never tried an oyster before, including many local children. Market stall holders sold out completely of pies, cakes and sticky toffee puddings, 150 kites were designed and flown by young visitors to the festival and feedback from local accommodation providers suggests the area was fully booked within a 20 mile radius of Stranraer.

Romano Petrucci, Chairman of Stranraer Development Trust, who organised the festival, said:
“The Festival was incredible and it shows just what can be achieved when our community works together. I heard a comment by a visitor that this was the weekend when Stranraer fell back in love with the sea. Our beautiful town has always had an affinity with Loch Ryan and with the sea, but when the ferries left town our connection with the water went with it. We lost a bit of our identity, but our first Oyster Festival has given us that back.

Live music at the festival

“We may no longer be a ferry town, instead we are now a destination to visit rather than a place to travel through. Our oysters have helped us to craft a new identity for our town. Stranraer will quickly become known as a tourism and food destination, somewhere to visit for incredible seafood, warm hospitality and stunningly beautiful vistas.

“Feedback from local businesses is overwhelmingly positive, with increased sales across the board and many businesses reporting record breaking sales. We are inspired and excited by the potential of Stranraer Oyster Festival and we have already come up with a host of ideas for how to make it bigger, better and more delicious next year.”

Celebrating Stranraer’s Seafood Heritage

Families enjoying fresh seafood

Stranraer Oyster Festival is Scotland’s first major oyster celebration. It was designed to celebrate the seafood heritage of Stranraer, including Scotland’s last remaining wild, native oyster fishery in Loch Ryan.

The festival also hosted the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship in partnership with Seafood Scotland. The hotly contested competition saw local oyster expert Tristan Hugh-Jones of Loch Ryan Oysters win the title. He went on to represent Scotland in the World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway.

Click here for more about our work with Stranraer Development Trust.

Derelict Barholm pub is transformed

BARHOLM – BRAND NEW EN-SUITE, AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE IN CREETOWN

We are excited to announce that Barholm Accommodation is now open for bookings! Barholm offers pleasant, comfortable accommodation to suit shared occupancy, as well as double and single private rooms, all en-suite.

Perfect for families, couples, travellers, visitors, outdoor enthusiasts and dogs are welcome too!

Contact bookings.barholm@gmail.com or phone 01671 820810

Big welcome to our new staff

Creetown Initiative welcomes new staff members:-

Elaine Marr, Accounts

Elaine is a Director/Company Secretary of WRDC, after working there for over 32 years as a full time employee – running the Trust on a day to day basis, giving out loans, client interviews, project work/management (on behalf of the Council and Scottish Enterprise, including Foot and Mouth loan project management), tourist information point, etc. She now runs WRDC from home and works part time for Creetown Initiative as an administrator/accounts lady.  She enjoys cruise holidays, so runs a cruise/holiday franchise in her ‘spare’ time.

 

Jenny Adams, Manager, Barholm

Jenny is the Centre Manager, and has been responsible for beautifully fitting out the accommodation rooms, she is extremely particular about cleanliness, so guests can expect the highest standards.

 

Panny Watson, Barholm Centre Assistant Manager

Panny is second in command of the Barholm Centre and is a Mr Fixit, he can turn his hand to anything.

 

Ben Herries, Barholm Project Worker

Ben is the project worker for the Barholm Centre he runs the cycle hire and cycle repair centre as well as the community shop.  Ben also helps out with the accommodation.  He is a member of the Creetown Football Club.

 

Harvey is the new Marketing Assistant for Creetown Initiative.  He’s been working on the marketing for the Barholm Enterprise Centre, amongst other things for the Initiative. He studied Communication, Advertising and PR at Napier University before moving back down home to Dumfries and Galloway. He splits his time between working in the Creetown Initiative office and as part of the Wigtown Festival Company.

Wild Film Festival Scotland – Wildlife Documentary Made by Young People

Creetown Initiative was engaged by the Wild Film Festival Scotland to develop and run a series of film making workshops for young people from the west of Dumfries and Galloway. The result was ‘Galloway Winter’ – a magazine style wildlife documentary made by 14 – 18 year olds.

Celebrating the Natural World Captured Through Film

The Wild Film Festival took place over the weekend of 24th – 26th March 2017 and was devoted to celebrating the natural world captured through film, photography and speakers. It showcased the best of wildlife and landscape in Dumfries and Galloway with filming produced by international, national and local filmmakers. Part of this exciting project was a youth film making element and workshops were devised with local youth film making clubs across the region. Creetown Initiative was one of the filmmaking ‘hubs’ and we held a series of skills based workshops throughout November 2016 for young people aged 14 – 18 in Newton Stewart.

To kick off the workshops, Sid Ambrose, the Festival Producer appointed a professional wildlife filmmaker, Simon Goodall, to provide an insightful introductory workshop and the following workshops were then lead by Creetown Initiative and covered researching, idea development, storyboarding, locations, scriptwriting, shot lists, scheduling and equipment training, including shot composition, sound recording and editing. Our team of young people shot the film on location at the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve, Threave Castle and Murray’s Monument and they took complete creative control, even down to the fine edit.

Premiere at the Wild Film Festival Scotland

Cast and crew then all went to see the screening of the film at the Festival in Dumfries on 26th March and received fantastic comments from the panel of industry professionals, including Nigel Pope, Exec. Producer of Maramedia Productions in Glasgow (who recently made ‘Highlands’ and ‘Hebrides’, broadcast on BBC1), Sacha Dench from WWT (who flew with Bewick swans from the Arctic on their migration) and Fraser Purdie, composer for film and television.

Local Screening

A few months later we held a local screening of ‘Galloway Winter’ and also a short drama, ‘Losing You’ in the Waverley Hall in Creetown to a packed audience. 

Far Reaching Impacts

This process has inspired these four young people in different ways; the 16 year old has decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and follow his dream to be an actor and has applied to Edinburgh College to study acting, the 17 year old has applied to 5 different Scottish universities to study a film/media degree, the 18 year old is volunteering at all of our youth activities in Creetown and Newton Stewart and the 14 year old is really focused on working her way towards a career in film.

For more information about our film making services and workshops, or to view some of our films, please click here.

 

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.