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Moffat Town Hall Redevelopment Trust

Area of Operation:

Moffat & District [DG10 postcode district]
South West (Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway)

Established:
2008
Population:
4,000

How We Started

In 2007 Moffat and District Community Initiative obtained funding from Big Lottery Investing in Ideas to carry out community consultation on what the community wished to see happen to Moffat Town Hall. This Grade II Listed Building is the largest public building in Moffat and provides many community services. The building is owned by Dumfries and Galloway Council, and provides council services, but lack of investment meant the building was looking tired and was deteriorating structurally. The results of the community consultation showed an overwhelming desire to completely refurbish and redevelop the Hall in partnership with D&G Council. As a result a Steering Group was established, and this set up the Trust as a Company Limited by Guarantee. The grant also allowed us to carry out an initial option appraisal and condition survey

What We Do

The Trust exists to refurbish and redevelop Moffat Town Hall for the benefit of the Community and visitors to Moffat. Through a Technical Assessment Grant from the BIG Lottery Fund we have been able to employ a Design Team. They have developed costed plans for a redeveloped and expanded Hall which keeps the best of the original listed building, but creates a flexible space suitable for the community in the 21st Century. Extensive community consultation on the plans has taken place, and detailed costs have been produced. Other work undertaken by the Trust includes: • Creating a partnership and reaching agreement with D&G Council for transfer of ownership of the Hall to the Trust for £1 • Engaging with the Community and increasing membership of the Trust • Creating partnerships with other potential users of the Hall, eg Moffat Academy, VisitScotland • Looking at other funding streams and commercial support.

What has happened since

We were successful in becoming one of 8 national demonstration sites in Scotland for the Asset Transfer Programme which aims to look at the issues around transfer of capital assets from Local Councils into Community ownership.   This gave us the opportunity to take forward our partnerhsip working with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Still chasing our ‘grand vision’ we made unsuccessful bids to Heritage Lottery Fund and SRDP in 2010.  Following a significant review, the Trust decided to look at phasing the whole project, whilst still keeping to our ultimate vision.  Historic Scotland confirmed that they would be still be willing to consider grant funding, on condition that the matched funding came from D&G Council and that the Trust had a minimum 21 year lease on the building.  With grant support from D&G LEADER, a package has been agreed in principle with D&G Council and Historic Scotland in February 2012.  This will give us c. £224 000 from HS and c. £360 000 from D&G Council.  The funding will enable the exterior of the building to be renovated, including reroofing, undertaking structural repairs, and other external features, such as windows and stonework.  The Council have agreed the basis of a lease which gives the Trust responsibility to maintain the outside of the building, but also gives management control of the building to the Trust. This enables us to market use of the building, set letting rates, and to refurbish the interior of the building subject to funding availability.
 

Our Future Plans

This is a very exciting time for the Trust.  We are working through the details of the grant eligible works with HS; and the detailed lease with D&G Council.  We hope that capital works will start by the beginning of 2013. In the meantime, there is much work to be done in galvanizing the community into action now that there is positive news.  We have already had a number of offers of volunteer help to do odd jobs, decorating etc. We are establishing a 'User Group' for the Hall, and will be marketing its use extensively.  We also are starting the process of refurbishing the interior by upgrading the kitchen which is in a very poor state, and we plan to have that competed in September of 2012.

Our ultimate vision remains to see the Hall totally refurbished and redeveloped for use by the Community, including Council Services.  At least we have started on the road!

Contact Details

Dr Peter Beck-Samuels
Chairman

Tel:
01683 221102
Email:
moffathall [at] gmail [dot] com
Website:

Last Updated: Tue, 04/02/2014 - 11:00