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 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.
Creetown Initiative’s film department was asked to produce a film for the Whithorn Trust, about the Archaeo-puzzle which is situated in the Whithorn Dig museum. Archaeologist, Andrew Nicholson, provides a guide to the user of the 3D archaeological puzzle, detailing the artefacts that can be found beneath each layer of ground in the puzzle. Fun and fascinating, the Whithorn Dig museum is well worth a visit! Visit www.whithorn.com for more information about the Whithorn Trust, the museum and all of the exciting activities.
It is with great pleasure that we can announce we have been successful in securing £730,000 from the Lottery to develop the Creetown Community Enterprise Centre!
This project has been four years in the making and after much hard work, it is coming to fruition. The ground floor of the centre will house an arts and crafts cooperative shop. In a nutshell, a group of artists and craft-makers will share the ground floor, taking it in turns to man the shop, whilst sharing the overheads. It is hoped that up to 20 artists and craft-makers will join the cooperative. If you are an artist or craft-maker and are interested in joining, please get in touch with Creetown Initiative.
The two upper floors will be a bunk-house. Cheap accommodation, aimed at mountain bikers, walkers and people doing other country pursuits. The idea is to tap into the market of people looking for no frills, cheap accommodation; people who are, at present, passing us by. The idea is that these people will use other village facilities, helping to support other local businesses and protect jobs. Indeed, some will come back and chose a more up market accommodation in the future; something we will actively promote. It’s about getting them here in the first place. 7 Stanes attracts 400,000 people a year; if we attract just 2% of those visitors that would mean 8,000 people who would potentially use the butchers, village store, garage, B&Bs, hotels, museums and other facilities. To the side of the premises the Cycle4life and Reuse Matters projects will be housed. This means that on site we will be able to offer bike hire and repairs, whilst the Reuse Matters project will, in time, generate income for community groups and projects; in essence this will be a charity shop/recycling initiative, and there will be a work/office space to let for anyone looking for small business premises.
There will also be a laundrette, primarily to serve the bunk-house, but this will be open to the public. Industrial washing machines means things like dog beds, duvets and other large items can be cleaned here in Creetown. The electric car will be stationed at the Barholm and there will be two charge points. People will be able to hire the electric car if they wish; another reason for people to stop in Creetown. This project will attract new visitors and will create jobs and help protect existing ones. It will revive a semi-derelict building which will help those that live and work close by. The Heritage Centre will also benefit via the additional footfall in the area, and will provide educational and learning opportunities. The next step is the tender process to choose a building company. This will take a few months, but hopefully this time next year the centre will be open.
The Am Fasgadh Regeneration Company (Kingussie) Ltd or ARC are looking to continue the potential development of The Cairngorm Centre in Kingussie. ARC wishes to build on the work of a feasibility study and have appointed Creetown Initiative to undertake a rigorous assessment of the potential markets for the centre, its place within these markets and from that develop a robust business plan, particularly looking at financial viability and sustainability.
Creetown Initiative will be carrying out:-
- Market research into all target markets for the centre
Assessing the demand for a high quality tourism facility within the Cairngorms National Park
- Develop a portfolio of possible funders and their requirements for the project
- Analysis of likely income from the centre
- Marketing strategy to support the development
- Produce a business plan using the feasibility study and market research that can be used by the ARC board of directors to support the transfer of the site from The Highland Council
Clan Hannay Society have chosen Creetown Initiative to carry out an options appraisal of Sorbie Tower.
Sorbie Tower, the ancient seat of Clan Hannay, is an L shaped 15th century tower house which was restored to the Clan’s ownership in 1965. Since that time the Clan has maintained the tower house as a preserved ruin.
Realising that historic preserved ruins are expensive to maintain and give few options for bringing in an income, the Clan are now exploring possible uses for the Tower and surrounds, with the ultimate aim of fully restoring the building. A conservation management plan and scoping study have already been carried out, the next stage being the options appraisal.
Manager of Creetown Initiative, Andrew Ward is “delighted to get involved with a significant local heritage project which also ties in with other work being done with local groups such as The Whithorn Trust”
Creetown Initiative wins contract to co-ordinate the development of the Stranraer BID.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by the Stranraer BID Steering Group to work with them to deliver the BID (Business Improvement District). We see the BID as an exciting opportunity for Stranraer, one which will complement the improvements and developments being worked on by the statutory agencies and bring the business community and public sector together for the good of the town. If successful the Stranraer BID will be the first in Dumfries & Galloway, leading the way for other towns in the region to follow suit.”
Andrew Ward, Manager, Creetown Initiative.
For more information see Stranraer BID.