trees and bench

What's been happening? (Community Ownership)

Post in Community Ownership by Tina Hartley
TG&DDC want to let you all know how work is progressing around the Community Development Plan's theme - Community Ownership

Progress so far!

  • Garve Hotel Land - this is the biggest opportunity the community has ever had, the ability to purchase land in the heart of Garve that has the potential to fulfil so many of the community's priorities. The Development Company has been working with key community representative organisations - Lochluichart Community Trust, Garve and District Community Council, Garve Public Hall Trustees and Achnasheen Amenities Group, and an offer to purchase land (we can’t detail the sum just yet as the process is not complete) was put forward with a condition that access, over hotel ground, would be given - this offer was accepted but sadly without the required condition. This meant that no vehicle access is currently available for the land, however the Development Company still felt that even with pedestrian access only, the land would still meet some priorities and was worth pursuing. With the support of LCT, we put a reduced offer forward to the sellers, based on the fact that no vehicle access was available - the offer was refused. We are now at a point of considering our next steps, but we really don’t want the community to miss out on this opportunity and as soon as we have some further information, we will share it with you.
  • Garve Public Hall – plans are moving forward following a delay due to the pandemic. A Building Warrant will soon be in place which will allow trustees to move to the Bill of Quantities stage this will then result in a funding application to LCT for renovation costs. The Development Company have been supporting trustees and in terms of funding they have been successful in getting to Stage 2 of the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. If successful, it is hoped that this fund will support around £200K of associated renovation costs.
  • Achnasheen Village Hall – Achnasheen Amenities Group are currently about to put a survey out to their local residents asking if they wish to purchase the hall from Highland Council and if there would be a committed community group to take this forward. This will obviously need to go out to wider community consultation and the Development Company will assist with this process.
  • Garve War Memorial – the On ya Bike group have been looking at what work needs to be carried out to improve or develop paths in Garve and District. In particular a path from Garve to Gorstan that will take in access to the War Memorial – it would be great to see an all-ability path developed.
  • Community Defibrillators – the Development Company took over management of the units which had previously been purchased via the Garve and District Community Council, who had also arranged training at that time. We can confirm that all units are up and running, have two sets of pads and up to date batteries. Each unit has a key person who is responsible for checking and reporting any faults to the Company. We were also pleased to arrange a refresher training course for the community this year.
  • Wyvis Natural Playpark – the playpark group are always responsive to community comments and feedback, have worked hard in partnership with the Garve Litter Busters Group, to keep the park and surrounding area litter free. As part of a recent community group looking at issues with regarding accessing the park over the Summer, the group once again issued the correct access details via their social media channels.

Questions & Comments

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Kathy Grist said:

Can vehicle access not be made by demolishing the existing hall and rebuilding a new, modern one further back from the road? This would be the perfect opportunity to create a better, warmer, more energy efficient hall which could, if a coffee shop/gift shop is incorporated, create jobs for the community as well as a warmer and more modern space for classes, meetings etc to be held.

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Gail Simpson said:

I agree with everything Kathy says. I've attended the needles and hooks group and can hardly hold my hooks because it's so cold. We need to invest in a new hall in my opinion and also a wee shop selling essentials and local crafts would be great.

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Alan Ross said:

Thanks Kathy and Gail for your comments and thanks to Tina for detailing the process to date. The pandemic did indeed put a damper on Trustees work to plough ahead with renovation plans, but I am pleased to say things are now finally moving along.  So sorry to hear that the hall has been cold for booked events and I am glad you have brought this to my attention and have checked why it has not come on and found that our remote heating control system has not been working for some reason, I have now reset the entire system and everything seems to be working again so fingers crossed! Are groups still at the point where they have doors open, I guess this doesn’t help at the moment either.  Kind Regards Alan Ross - Chair Garve Public Hall.

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Tina Hartley said:

Hi Kathy and Gail, lovely to hear from you and thanks for your feedback. Just a reminder that following community consultation, the Garve and District community wished to keep Garve Public Hall, a community asset which forms part of Garve's cultural heritage and has been at the heart of its community for over 100 years. However, the community also wished to see it fully renovated, maybe you missed the posts regarding gaining successful planning permission and publication of plans etc. So, Trustees are working towards the provision of a lovely renovated hall, however the pandemic hindered progress, but they are now back on track and just awaiting approval of the building warrant.

It is the Development Company's role to move the community's priorities forward and we are supporting Trustees with this process, especially around accessing and securing funding streams.

Sorry to hear that the hall has been cold for your Needles and Hooks group, leave that with me, and I will feedback your comments to hall trustees and hopefully they can improve the situation, especially important now as the weather has changed!

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