Campbeltown Town Hall project set to get underway in early November

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Published Date: 

13 Oct 2014 - 10:33

The £2.2million project to repair and refurbish Campbeltown Town Hall is set to begin in early November, following an asset transfer from Argyll and Bute Council to the South Kintyre Development Trust.

All funding has now been secured to meet the costs of bringing this key community asset back into use, with Argyll and Bute Council contributing £687,000 from its CHORD regeneration initiative and the Campbeltown Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI). The build costs are around £1.8million, with £400,000 of operating costs for the next five years factored into the total project cost.

The council has been working in partnership with SKDT to develop the project since late 2010, providing advice and guidance throughout the process.  In recent months council staff helped SKDT secure over £200,000 from Historic Scotland to bridge a funding gap that has ensured the project can proceed to the next stage.

The trust intend to appoint a local contractor within the next fortnight to carry out the work. The contractor will use their existing staff, new staff and local sub-contractors – a significant boost to the local economy.

This has been a real community project from the outset, with public events taking place throughout the process to ensure that the community has been fully informed of the plans for the building.  The project team has engaged with partner organisations, potential users and locals with specialist skills to ensure that the internal design and layout is fit for purpose.

Works to be carried out include: exterior stone repairs; repointing and repainting; re-slating the roof; repair to the gild weather vane; overhaul of the windows including the installation of slimline double glazing; new toilet facilities for up to 200 people, including disabled toilets and baby changing facilities; the installation of a discrete ramp and disabled lift; the installation of a semi-commercial kitchen; the installation of a new sports floor in the main hall; reinstatement of cornicing to replicate the original design and renovation of the original oak and Italian marble panelling throughout the building.

A new stairwell is being installed in the rear lane that will enable the capacity of the main hall to increase from 60 to 200 people. 

The completed town hall will become a community hub with offices to rent, conference and meeting facilities and a one-stop-shop for accessing services for local organisations and community activities.  The main hall will be available to hire for civic and community events such as weddings, ceilidhs, coffee mornings and exhibitions.

This is a key element of the regeneration of Campbeltown town centre, with the council eager to see the building operated by and for the benefit of the community. It is hoped that it will become a key focal point for Campbeltown, generating activity in the town centre and giving local people a community asset they can be proud of.

This is a key project for the council’s THI, which has already made £1.2million of grant awards, seeing work carried out on over 40 town centre buildings. This has ranged from small window repairs to major renovation initiatives such as the one at 13-15 Kirk Street, which saw the category C listed derelict tenement brought back in to use, significantly improving the streetscape.

Local construction companies have been involved in all aspects of the work, either as the main contractor or as a named sub-contractor. A number of new town centre businesses have opened including a beauty salon, a hair salon, an IT store and several restaurants. In addition, the Royal Hotel has created over 35 jobs on the back of the refurbishment of the building through the THI.

Renovation work was completed in 2012 on the tenements at 27-31 and 60 Main Street, as well as work on the Old Schoolhouse, bringing it back in to use as low cost accommodation for backpackers.

The final building to be completed under the THI scheme is the vacant tenement at 50-52 Main Street/2 Cross Street, which is also expected to go on site in November, with further details to follow.