Moniaive High Street has seen better days. Once a vibrant centre for the local area, when this project started there were a number of empty buildings, with several commercial premises undergoing conversion to residential, and others having been on the market for months or even years. In April 2015 Moniaive Initiative received a grant from the Scottish Government through DTAS to look into ways of kick-starting a regeneration.
Run concurrently with our Community Spaces project, this project has utilised the same range of activities to engage with the local community, and the same mechanisms to provide feedback as our ideas have developed and progressed.
A link to our FINAL REPORT can be found at the bottom of the page. Here are some of our findings:
38% of respondents described Moniaive High Street as “Neglected” and 59% said they would LIKE to be able to describe Moniaive High Street as “Thriving”. 58% of you said that “Appearance” is the ONE thing you would most like to see improved.
We asked High Street businesses and residents to prioritize potential actions to improve the High Street – “Encouraging the Use of Empty Buildings” came top, followed by “Improving Parking and Pedestrian Access”.
Our COMMUNITY SURVEY showed that local businesses are valued and supported. When asked to prioritise potential actions for improvement: 75% said “Encouraging the Use of Empty Buildings” and 67% said “Improving the look of Building Frontages”.
“It’s sad to see buildings standing empty and neglected”
“Once buildings are occupied, High Street will look less neglected”
There was good support for our suggestion of a community hub, with 59% saying they would use a Community Information Point and 52% a Community Charity Shop.
Our DIGITAL FACEBOOK FORUM discussed in more depth some of the ideas and suggestions raised through the previous consultations, such as how to improve the look of empty buildings, and how to turn the cherry tree / market cross area back into an attractive focal point.
The COMMUNITY WORKSHOP also discussed these ideas in more depth, with discussions and comments on how to encourage use of the village car park, and how to improve pedestrian access to the High Street.
We developed our ideas on improved pedestrian access during 2017, when we joined forces with the walking charity, Living Streets, to look at options for creating a 20mph area in Moniaive, as part of their national pilot project: LOWER SPEED COMMUNITIES. Our work on this element continues, and you can read more about this on our dedicated project page.
Our work to date on the High Street Regeneration Project has shown that there is strong local support for the proposed creation of a new community building in Moniaive, and a general understanding that such an asset could play a significant role in the regeneration of the High Street, especially if it utilises one of the long-empty properties.
You can read our reports here:
Throughout 2016-2017 Moniaive Initiative progressed a Feasibility Study, followed by Design Development of a scheme to create a Community Shop, Housing and Hub in the High Street. Our original project unfortunately stalled in 2018 when it was found that our target building was in a poorer condition than expected, and therefore not economically viable for the type of development we required. We then turned our attentions to another long-empty building, and late in 2018 we opened a ‘trial’ shop and hub in AMD House, on a 6-month lease. In February 2019 we were granted funds from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase the building, and are currently negotiating that purchase to enable us to secure the long-term future of The Hive. You can read the full project summary on our dedicated COMMUNITY SHOP & HUB page.
Meanwhile, we have not forgotten the other aspects of our original project. We are pleased to say that the last of the long-empty buildings in our High Street have now sold, and all are or will be renovated, improving the look and the feel of the centre of our lovely settlement. Over the coming year (2019-2020) we will continue to investigate ways of continuing this High Street Regeneration, and in particular will focus on the access and accessibility elements.
If you have comments, ideas or feedback on this project, please do not hesitate to contact us.