Trust to develop Buccleuch House for learning and enterprise
MORE THAN half a million pounds has been awarded to Newcastleton to develop an enterprise and learning centre along with a bunkhouse in Buccleuch House.
The Newcastleton and District Community Trust says it’s
delighted that it has been
awarded £664,400 by
the Scottish government’s
Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.
This provides the core funding towards the development and upgrade of Buccleuch House which, once completed, will house the enterprise and learning centre and no-frills bunkhouse.
With this core funding secured, and thanks also to the support of Border Caring
Services, BCCF Environmental and the trust’s own funds, it can now begin this project.
The project will preserve a much-loved but now very neglected building in the heart of the village.
It will provide business space and a learning centre with state-of-the-art technology enabling students to link into college campuses around Scotland.
The bunkhouse is targeted at the growing outdoor leisure markets of walkers and cyclists and will provide the income to help sustain the project.
The trust was also awarded a budget from government’s
Investing in Communities Fund and Scottish Land Fund so it can recruit two new positions.
They will support the board to deliver the community
development plan and proceed at a pace which is particularly significant, given the village’s recent challenges.
It is seeking a community
development officer and a
project worker to work with the community after the leisure assets transfer.
The trust wants to get the message out that Newcastleton is very much open for business and life goes on.
Steve Hartley, trust chairman, said: “With the recent storms and snow-melt causing severe flooding which ravaged our village, this has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging starts to any year our community has had to endure.
“Thanks to the combined
efforts of Scottish Borders Council, its partners, strong community spirit and our volunteers, the good news is that work is progressing well on flood-damaged homes and on reopening roads and bridges in and out of the village.
“Communication is still challenging and EE is still to reinstate damaged circuits and repair masts but the community
remains steadfast and life is
returning to some sense of normality.
“We have also been in the news headlines for much better reasons, with the announcement that we’ve been successful in our bid to build our Community Enterprise & Learning Centre and we have completed a historic land transfer deal with Buccleuch which passes valuable assets to the community.
“VisitScotland has unveiled its major See South Scotland TV advertising campaign, which is a huge opportunity for Visit Newcastleton to benefit from and the exposure this will bring.
“Newcastleton is very much open for business and we look forward to welcoming you to our special part of the world very soon.”
The asset transfer deal with Buccleuch for Polysport, the playing field, golf clubhouse and course, woodlands, allotments and riverside, more than 100 acres in total, comes as Buccleuch continues negotiations for the sale of 750 acres of Holm Hill.
The trust has applied to the Scottish Land Fund. Given its recent experiences with flooding, the trust says it is even more imperative that the village can expand beyond its current boundary to develop new safe homes for residents.
Owning more land will enable that to happen. Decisions will be announced in May.