Ideas galore for community hub

Ideas are streaming in for Ardchattan's old school as a community hub. Photograph: Chris Lavis-Jones.

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A heritage centre and gin distillery are just some of the ideas that Ardchattan has come up with for its former school building.

At a recent have your say event, the session was buzzing with lively discussions around opportunities it could offer if it belonged to the community.

Heritage and history featured in many of the suggestions, as the area has a rich industrial and cultural past and an amazing geological footprint, all of whiuch could form part of an exhibition if there was space, said Ardchattan Centre project chairwoman Breege Smyth.

The monthly pop-up tearooms are already very successful and many people felt a cafe, along with a bakery and shop, would be a welcome amenity.

The centre’s project group has now contracted architect Shauna Cameron to produce a feasibility study based on the community’s suggestions for the building and grounds.

Shauna will be meeting with the community at events at the school over the next few weeks and will present  plans along with drawings at a public event in January.

Mrs Smyth said: ‘We are delighted to have local architect Shauna Cameron working with us to transform this school and grounds into a centre that will be ambitious and imaginative with the wellbeing of the  community at its core.’

The next tearoom event is on Sunday December 15 between 1pm and 3pm. Shauna will be there to hear more ideas.

To make suggestions or find out more about the project, email