Community Assets Feasibility StudyPost in Community Ownership by Lucy Beattie
Building on the findings of the 2016 community needs survey conducted by Aigas Associates and the subsequent publication of the Community Development Plan in March 2019, a need was identified to assess and pinpoint the potential for improving and protecting existing community assets as well as looking at potential new assets.
With funding from the LCT and the Architectural Heritage Fund The Garve & District Development Company (TGDDC) sought tenders, and subsequently appointed Alan Jones Associates from Inverness to engage consultants on the following brief.
To assess the potential of current and future community assets to include the consideration of an extended or new community hall alongside the benefits of a fully refurbished hall.
Alan and his team researched a number of assets within the community:
- Halls at Achnasheen, Lochluichart and Garve
- Garve War Memorial
- Wyvis Natural Playpark
- Forestry land
- Agricultural land
- Railway land
- Telephone boxes
- Extend and upgrading of the existing Garve Public Hall. It is further recommended that the ideal expansion of the Public Hall would be on land adjoining its footprint as this would enable hall to offer access to all areas for disabled as well as enhanced disabled parking and general parking.
- This recommendation and it’s implications should be sent to the Hall Trustees who will ultimately decide if this is what they want.
- Investigate the community asset trabsfer scheme for the purchase of forestry land via the community assets transfer scheme and Network Rail sites as identified for future community use. An expression of interest should be made to the Scottish Land Fund for these.
- It is recommended that Garve and District Community Council advise Highland Council of their preference to retain telephone boxes at Achnasheen, Aultguish, Achanalt and Garve as telephone boxes.
- It is recommended that the Garve community initiate a consultation exercise for the right to buy option for the land and subjects at the Garve Hotel as a community asset should it be put on the open market.
- It is recommended that the Garve Public Hall Trustees adopt a pricing policy for the developed Hall and proposed future uses in order to sustain the operation of the redeveloped facility.
- It is recommended that if the Hall Trustees agree to the proposed extension that prior to any contracts being let a full asbestos survey is carried out of the existing building.
- It is recommended that if any future new build facilities are to be considered, that this should offer facilities which are complimentary to those provided in the existing Garve Public Hall and not directly in competition with these activities.