Plans to build a new community hub in Muir of Ord, near Inverness, are one step closer with the completion of the funding package.
The Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company will use the £1.1m it has been awarded to refurbish and extend the existing Old Tarradale School. This will provide a new community owned facility offering social and learning opportunities for 3,300 residents, as well as visitors to the village.
The initial grant of nearly £1 million from The Big Lottery Fund was revealed in November 2014 and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has now awarded £70,000 to the project, completing the funding package which includes contributions from the Muir of Ord Community Association and The Highland Council.
From the new hub, the Calman Trust will operate a café which will provide training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people. Plans for the building also include a heritage and information centre, an auditorium, IT facilities and meeting space for groups to socialise.
Stephen Pennington, Chair of the Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company, comments: “We are really pleased that HIE has supported the development of our community hub by awarding the final sum of money and enabling us to take the project into the delivery stage. Muir of Ord has long needed a resource in the heart of the village that will bring people together and I thank all those who have worked hard to help us reach this stage.”
Anne Williamson from HIE, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to help Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company finalise their funding package for the Old Tarradale School. The community hub will help bring the community together in addition to bringing much improved facilities to Muir of Ord. A new vibrant community centre should also help to attract new shops and visitors to the village, benefiting local businesses and people.”
Work should begin once contractors are selected and it is hoped the new centre will be open by summer 2016.
In 2014, BIG Lottery Fund Scotland awarded £952,994 to the project and Highland Council awarded £70,000. In addition to funds from Muir of Ord Community Association, the award of £70,000 from HIE completes the £1.1m funding package.