Member Update 28th October 2020
A key objective for Finderne Development Trust is to improve the social, health and wellbeing amenity facilities for the whole Finderne community. After much consideration to possible locations and functions of any hub, we believe that there should be a priority given to the remoter rural areas around Edinkillie and Dunphail.
The Edinkillie Community Hall is a well-used, and well loved, venue for community activities. Whilst the history and heritage of the place has strong emotional ties for some members of the community, it is old, tired and extremely difficult to maintain. The structure and format of the building is not flexible enough to meet the potential future needs of the community
Discussions started with the idea that the village hall needed to be replaced with a building designed to provide a space for the community activities that was warm, welcoming and easy to maintain. Visits by a number of the Board members to community “hubs” in Boat of Garten and Strathdearn (Tomatin) revealed that the opportunities were much greater than simply a village hall replacement.
Social recreation is an important factor in what binds a community together, but so is health & well-being. The community hubs we visited have carefully integrated facilities for health & well-being activities (e.g. therapy treatment rooms) alongside the more obvious “hall” type areas.
Boat of Garten and Strathdearn Community hubs have also recognised that the sustainability of these types of community facility is very difficult purely on the basis of social use. By very careful use of commercial opportunities they have developed a revenue stream that supports the maintenance and ongoing development of the buildings.
We are in the very early stages of the Community Hub development but we want to learn from the experiences of places such as Boat of Garten and Strathdearn that have already gone along this type of journey. It is absolutely critical, however, that our own community lead us along the exact route that they would like to see. Once again COVID-19 has stalled us to a degree on this journey, because we have been unable to start deep community consultations on the options and possibilities, but we are ready to move with this when the regulations allow.
We have had very preliminary discussions with Logie Estate, who own the land adjacent to the existing hall at Edinkillie, and they have indicated strong support for our ambitions around a community hub in the area.
We have also held preliminary discussions with local Councillors, Logie Primary School and the Parent Council on the possibility of using a new hub building to secure the future of local education and provide a permanent home for the school. These were positive first engagements which allow us to now gather an evidence base and hold the next stage of community consultations. Whilst COVID-19 means we cannot meet the community face- to-face, we shall do our utmost to use all other avenues to consultation as best as we can.
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