Since November 2017 Moniaive Initiative have been using a Big Lottery Fund Development Grant to progress a Concept Design for the proposed Community Shop & Hub project in Moniaive High Street.
Having established through an earlier Feasibility Study that this model could be sustainable in Moniaive, we completed an Options Appraisal on 6 buildings that were then available for purchase / lease in the High Street, and finally settled on Ebruchie as our ‘target’ building. This decision was based on two factors:
- Ebruchie was able to offer flexible space to provide 3 potential income streams, through a retail unit, community meeting space, and an affordable housing unit, to make it sustainable.
- Ebruchie had been on the market for several years, and was becoming an eyesore.
Throughout December 2017 and January 2018 we commissioned a series of specialist surveys to create a full Condition Survey on the building. At the same time our Architects drafted two alternative ‘Concept Design’ plans to show how the available space might be used.
The results of the specialist surveys unfortunately showed that Ebruchie is in a much worse condition than expected. This, combined with the need for flood mitigation works, pushed up the cost estimates for the project. We investigated options for reducing these costs, and drafted a reduced plan in our Concept Design Option 3. However, the repair and renovation costs for the building became so high that we were advised that even this reduced plan would still be too expensive to be considered for grant support, especially given the smaller community benefit that could be derived from the reduced design option. In March 2018 The Trustees of Moniaive Initiative therefore decided to withdraw our project from the Scottish Land Fund and Big Lottery Scotland application processes. They would like to thank the local community for their continued support as we re-evaluate our proposals and investigate new ways in which to bring them to fruition.
Through the summer of 2018 Kara Millen, our Community Hub Development Officer, has been re-visiting our Options Appraisal and investigating alternative ideas and options for supporting and enhancing community spaces development in Moniaive. During this period she has been able to aid and support the Glencairn Memorial Institute as they make funding applications to improve the facilities of that building. This has enabled us to further discuss and consider how a new Community Shop and Hub might be developed to ensure that it complements, not competes with, our existing provision.
As a result of this process, we have now turned our attention to the AMD Building in the High Street. In May we were allowed to run a trial ‘Pop Up Hub’ during the weekend of the Moniaive Folk Festival, during which we were able to showcase not only our own work, but also that of many other community groups and organisations. We received positive feedback on this trial, and were able to use it to consider in more detail how we might use that building in the future.
In July 2018 we were accepted back onto the Big Lottery / Scottish Land Fund programme, and were subsequently successful with our Stage I application. We then received confirmation that we would be allowed to use our remaining Development Grant to run a longer ‘Trial’ Shop & Hub, and were able to negotiate a 6-month lease of the building to enable this to happen.
In November 2018 we started remedial works to enable us to bring the building back into use. These will include inspections of the electrical, plumbing and heating installations, and replacement of the broken front window. We have already commenced a thorough cleaning and redecoration of the interior, with the help of local volunteers.
We are currently on track to open the new Trial Shop & Hub at the start of December, and are taking ideas for a name for the venture. We are also busy reviewing our Business Plan, which will form part of our Stage II submission to Scottish Land Fund (also at the start of December).
We will continue to share our ideas for this building as our proposals develop; but in the meantime, if you have any queries or ideas, please do get in touch!
This page will be updated further in due course.