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Funding boost for Millport Town Hall Plans

Posted on 16 Sep 2020

AMBITIOUS plans to regenerate Millport Town Hall and turn the building into a purpose-built community hub are gathering pace.

A range of community groups and partners have come together to set up a charity with the aim of breathing new life into the facility that has been closed for the last five years.

They have already secured funding from various sources – including North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Land Fund – and  received another boost recently after securing over £15,000 from North Ayrshire Ventures Trust (NAVT).

NAVT is a grant programme was developed to enable voluntary, community and social enterprises in North Ayrshire to explore new opportunities to help them grow in size and improve long-term sustainability.

The NAVT money will help pay for architectural costs and other capital expenses to ensure phase 3 of the proposals can be finalised.

The Council’s Community Investment Fund has already committed £200,000 to supporting phase 4 of the project which would see the charity take ownership of the Town Hall.

It is hoped that the process could be complete by 2022 – which would see Millport Town Hall become a sustainable facility run by the community for the community.

 The proposals for the Town Hall include: 

  • turning currently derelict heritage building to provide a core space and social infrastructure
  •  creating facilities to enhance the social, physical and economic well-being of Cumbrae;
  • establish a Heritage/Conservation Centre, Arts/Culture Centre and Community Hub where community-based social services can be delivered
  • create high value letting space to address an identified market need on the Island and to provide a sustainable income
  • deliver an infrastructure project as an economic stimulus to help the island recover socially and economically from the impact of COVID-19.

 Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Participatory Budgeting and Chair of NAVT,  said: “The work being carried out to regenerate Millport Town Hall is absolutely fantastic and a shining example of how Community Wealth Building – the economic model adopted by the Council – can work in practice.

 “It’s about working in partnership with our communities to make the absolute best of our resources to  benefit the local economy.

 “Covid-19 is going to have an impact across the board but our islands will have felt it even more so.

 “While the regeneration of Millport Town Hall isn’t going to solve all the issues, it is a fantastic example of communities coming together and working with anchor organisations like the Council to make a difference.

 “It is great to see that they are accessing a range of funding streams – including this latest one from NAVT – to move forward.

 “We look forward to working with them as the project develops over the coming months.”

 Angie McCallum, of the charity behind the Millport Town Hall plans, said “This is fantastic news and we really appreciate this support.

 “The Council’s Community Investment Fund has already committed £200,000 to supporting phase 4 of the project which would see the charity take ownership of the Town Hall. We are grateful for an extension of the original deadline for this funding which has been necessitated by the delay caused by COVID -19.”

 The NAVT money is part of over £80,000 secured by the group to complete phase 3 of the plans.