Rockfield Centre launches its community shares project

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The Rockfield Centre launched its community shares project on Saturday and it proved to be a success, with £25,000 shares being purchased.

The aim of the campaign is to raise enough funds to be able to refurbish the former primary school building.

Since taking ownership of the school in 2015, Oban Communities Trust has raised nearly £2 million.

And it is hoped that by allowing the community to invest in the centre, the trust will raise the remaining funds needed to carry out the refurbishment.

Oban and Lorn Tourism Alliance (OLTA) was the first to purchase a share in Rockfield.

Linda Battison of OLTA was there at 10am on Saturday to hand over the cheque.

Linda said: ‘We are honoured to be the first to buy shares. We weren’t even asked – I volunteered it. I thought it was a sensible thing to do and thought it might help to see the local tourism association was 100 per cent behind them.

‘I hope it encourages other organisations, businesses and individuals.’

Also showing their support on the day were Brendan O’Hara MP for Argyll and Bute and Parsley the cat.

Speaking at the event, Mr O’Hara said: ‘What comes over loud and clear is the potential that [the building] has. The potential to be something really special in this community.

‘What I am also struck by is the enthusiasm of the committee and the volunteers. And by the scale and scope of the vision of this place – it’s not just saving an old building, it’s about investing in the future of this community.

‘I can’t wait to see it progress as we go forward.’

The Rockfield Centre’s project facilitator, Eleanor MacKinnon, said: ‘We are excited about the launch. It’s a final step in what has been a short but intensive journey to get to this stage.

‘We could not have done this without the community being behind us all the way.

‘I think community shares is quite innovative. It’s quite new for Scotland. We just need everyone to go on the website [and invest].’

To find out more about the shares, visit www.therockfieldcentre.org.uk/invest