£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.

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.

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.