Sustainable Community Hub
In June 2011, we heard that our application to Stage 1 of the Big Lottery's Growing Community Assets had been successful. We had applied for funding to build a hub that would house a shop, cafe and gathering space, with children's play area, and connected to the hydro scheme we are developing seperately using our community-owned Allt Duisdale Reservoir.
When we were told the good news, we were invited to apply for up to £50,000 of development funding to research our ideas, and get all of the design, planning permission and land purchase issues sorted out so that we would be ready to submit a Stage 2 application for the actual costs of the project.
We were given only two months to write a design brief, a business brief and a brief for land valuers and solicitors, put the work out to tender, chose our favoured bids and write and submit an application for the development funding. This involved an incredible amount of hard work, as we did not even know what a design brief was before we started the process, and had only ever put out tender work for our hydro feasibility studies.
We invited 9 architects to put together design teams, and 4 business consultants to submit a tender bid. We also asked for quotes from three solicitors and two land valuers.
It was very encouraging to receive 9 very high quality bids from the design teams and 4 very professional bids from the business consultants. However the high quality of the design team bids made the job of chosing extremely difficult. After many hours of reading, analysing, seeking additional information, scoring, interviewing and getting references, we came to the unanimous decision to appoint the following professionals:
BUSINESS CONSULTANT: Faye MacLeod of Campbell Stewart, MacLennan, in a joint bid with Andrew Prendergast of Sleat. We already knew the quality of Andrew's work, as he had researched and helped us to write our Township Development Plan in Autumn 2010.
SOLICITOR: J & H Mitchell, Pitlochry
LAND VALUER: Torrance Partnership, Portree
In September 2011 we heard that our application for development funding had been successful and we had been awarded £49,756. We now have until 21st September 2012 to do all the work required and submit our Stage 2 application.
Community Workshop One
The first community workshop took place in November and was attended by more than 80 people. People who could not attend either filled in a paper or an online questionnaire. WT Architecture have produced a Feedback Report which summarises what people said and then gives their recommendations on what issues they should therefore consider while drawing up the design for the Hub.