Creetown Initiative Engaged to Fundraise for Moffat Beechgrove Sports Pavilion

Creetown Initiative has been engaged by Beechgrove Sports Partnership to fundraise for a new sports pavilion at the Moffat Beechgrove Sports Pavilion site. There is a larger sports hall behind the pavilion with badminton courts, small gym and an indoor bowling facility. Next to the pavilion there is an outdoor bowling green and outdoor tennis courts. However, the pavilion building itself is small and in poor condition and a brand new facility is required, with upgraded toilets and kitchen facilities and to act as a club house and function venue.

Beechgrove Sports Partnership has been formed from a number of different sports groups in Moffat who have come together to work to improve the pavilion, including Beechgrove Lawn Tennis Club and Beechgrove Bowling Club. They have engaged us to develop a fundraising plan and carryout this work.

Click here for other sports related projects Creetown Initiative has worked on.

£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.

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.

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 for a form and further information. We have been pleased to be able to support Stranraer Development Trust to develop this opportunity.

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, 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.



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.

Funding Success for new Creetown Enterprise Centre

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.

Visit to Kingussie planned for our latest consultancy contract

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