“Spring is the time of plans and projects” – Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910
SCD LogoVariation 08While Strathdearn Community Developments (SCD) has certainly been busy in the early months of 2016, their work for the Strathdearn community is year-round. For those who are new to the area, I would like to give an introduction to SCD before updating you all on their current plans and projects.
SCD is a registered charity set up in 2013. Its board of volunteer Directors, and its self-employed staff members: Development Officer, Company Secretary, and Hall Administrator and Keeper, work with the aim of achieving sustainable regeneration for the Strathdearn community. SCD currently owns Strathdearn Hall, plus its surrounding grounds, which includes the covered sports area and play park. Below is an update on SCDs main projects, plus details of how you can keep abreast of SCDs work.
Paths Project: The construction of the long awaited paths project is underway and some Strathdearn residents will have already walked the completed sections near the distillery and to the A9 bus stop. Construction of the sections towards the village centre will be accompanied by road-work signs and traffic lights to ensure public safety. This relates to section 6, which is in effect part of Station Road and so requires little construction, and section 8, which connects Strathdearn Hall to Juniper Drive. The sections of the path approved by Planning are due to be completed by end-May. Signage has been ordered to signpost the path for non-local users. In January 2016, SCD was a recipient of an STV Children’s Appeal award, which has been put towards the cost of the path. There are plans to hopefully extend the paths network, which will be reported in a future newsletter.
Village shop: As reported in the February 2016 newsletter, the ownership of Tomatin Country Store is transferring to SCD on 1 July 2016. The timetable for the takeover is on schedule and preparations are well advanced for as smooth a takeover as possible. SCD look forward to the support of the Strathdearn community in this exciting new venture. SCD is seeking additional staff members for the shop and asks anyone interested to send their CV for consideration to SCD at the above address.
Village hall: Plans for a new hall in Tomatin are continuing apace, to replace the old hall condemned on safety grounds in May 2015. Following the feasibility study, Makar Construction of Inverness has been retained by SCD to progress the plans to full planning application stage. The aim is to reach the planning application stage by August 2016. In March 2016, SCD completed a hall user group survey to determine the amenities needed in the new hall. Twenty-four user groups took part in the survey, to put forward their views and aspirations for consideration in the hall plans. SCD heartily thanks the participants for their time and effort in responding, and aims to comply with the survey feedback wherever feasibly possible. The survey participation has already had an effect on the size of the new hall, as its size is now considerably bigger than before the survey! SCD has also carried out surveys to comply with Planning, e.g. a bat survey and a tree survey. The bat survey reported that bats are roosting in the old hall roof, so further time sensitive surveys are required over the coming months.
Grant Funding: SCD is pleased to announce that they received a Scottish Government award to fund a one-year administrative post, which will be much needed in the coming months for the projects SCD are currently engaged with. This post will be advertised in the local press in the near future.