Newsletter December 2009

Progress on all fronts:

Pre-emption Negotiations

Although there is still no actual agreement with Highland Council to have it waive its pre-emption right over the old school properties, recent discussions indicate that both sides (Highland Council and Contin Community Council and Community Trust) are much closer to an agree-ment than at any point in the past.

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A settlement of this matter is of crucial significance since the sale of the old school house and an affordable housing development on the site of the school building would raise sufficient funds to allow the Trust to obtain matching grant funds to build the new community hall. (Seen here - photo from model - view looking from main road towards the river. Note the windows along the upper walls, giving daylight into the main hall. The building pictured to the right is part of the terrace of affordable houses.)

Negotiations are currently at the stage of awaiting word from Highland Council’s inter-departmental consultations on a proposal which, in essence, would see our planning applications being approved subject to conditions allowing only the construction of a community centre and affordable housing. Let’s hope the various departments don’t delay in talking to each other about this. Of course, if you should meet a Councillor ask them to urge swift action by their (and our) council officers.

Planning Applications

Planning application shave been submitted for both the new hall and the affordable housing development. Further site investigation to test for foundations and ground-source heating will take place in early December.

Grant Assistance

We have received a grant of £3,500 from the MacKenzie New York Villa Trust which is based in Strathpeffer. This grant is to support the development work involved for the project.

Ideas for the Future

Emerging from the public meeting on 10th November were a fantastic range of possible/desired uses for the new hall and umpteen ideas for raising funds. With a fairly good number present, the meeting was asked to form discussion groups and asked to focus on these two items:
1. what could be done to fund the new hall?
2. what might the new hall be used for?

Question 1 (Future Funding) threw up all kinds of good ideas which will help to ensure the ongoing maintenance of the hall and to provide for a fabric fund for the future - as well as providing many opportunities for us to enjoy being together in our community. Among the ideas offered were:

Concerts (with names of possible performers);
Cinema Club
Gala Day with Exhibition Football Match
Exhibition of Arts and Crafts
a 100 Club,
Quiz Nights,
Discos
Themed Dances
Car Boot Sale, etc., etc.

If you want to help with any of these - or have another brilliant idea - please get in touch with one of the Trust Board members or one of the Community Councillors.

Question 2 (Uses for the Hall) raised so many ideas that we decided simply to include them in full in the newsletter. Bear in mind, please, that while it may seem to be putting the cart before the horse to design a hall and then ask people to suggest uses, the decision to try to create a new community centre arose from a realization that we were facing increasingly hefty bills for the repair and maintenance of the old school which did not provide attractive accommodation, and we did have discussions at public meetings in 2007 where some uses were suggested.

You will see from the lists below that some suggestions could fit in more than one category - we are not concerned to try to fit people and activities into rigid definitions but rather to show the breadth of ideas within our community for activities in which we all might participate if so moved.

Sport
Badminton, Table tennis, pool/snooker, bowls, short tennis, judo, yoga, pilates, martial arts, aerobics, keep fit, soft ball, gymnastics, fencing, orienteering.

Clubs
Astronomy, book club/reading, model building, cycling, philately, chess,
WRI, Guides & Brownies, Scouts & Cubs, after school group, children’s sport, children’s parties, child’s holiday club, arts & crafts, pipe band.

Leisure
whist, dominoes, darts, toddler group, D of E Awards, lunch club, seniors club, music club, church events, café, walking group, disabilities club,
exhibitions.

Activities
drama, line dancing, belly dancing, concerts, dances, discos, ceilidhs, craft shows, conferences, weddings, functions, parties, film shows, library, part-time post office, evening classes, computing classes.

Public Information/Consultation
Scottish National Heritage, Forest Ranger, Scottish National Trust, Highland Council, Scottish Government, Local and National Elections, Contin Community Council, Contin Community Trust, etc.

Copyright 2010 Contin Community Trust. Registered Charity SC325053. Site design by Rob Elliott at Strathview