Community Business Hub (Old Scout Hut site)
The building known as the Old Scout Hut located next to the village shop and filling station was gifted to MCDC by its previous owners, Tarmac, in 2012. The building had originally been a dormitory block for Mine workers.
Having been deemed unsuitable for redevelopment, the former Scout Hut was demolished in December 2013.
MCDC have conducted two community surveys regarding the future use of the site, in 2010 and in 2013. There were several suggestions put forward regarding the best use of the new building, for example, craft shop, tea rooms, workshops, wildlife and heritage centre, business centre, a place for young people “to hang out”, picnic area and parking, wine bar, chandlery shop, youth centre/cafe, internet cafe, small retail outlets, community kitchen, youth hostel, soft play area for 0-5 year olds, gym/keep fit centre, nice planted up and landscaped garden, charity shop and even a swimming pool.
While discussing various options for the Scout Hut site, the community and the Board of MCDC Directors had to consider the following:
- Community – led project
- Providing employment opportunities for local people
- Generating an income for the community
- Encouraging local enterprise
- Providing opportunities in the community that otherwise would not be available
- Community asset ownership
- Flexibility of space that can be easily adapted with changes in the need
- Working space
- Full disabled access
- Filling the gaps in provision
- Small business development
- Encourage trades
We have secured planning permission for the site and are currently exploring funding options for the project.
This project comes about after many years of planning and consulting with the community. We have tried to ensure that the new building supports local business and enhances visitor experience while also utilising what is currently an unsightly area in the heart of the village.
Within this building we hope to provide a small gift shop showcasing local talent, arts and crafts, local maps and books, postcards etc; a heritage centre promoting local history and events; an opportunity for local businesses to advertise their services, i.e. B@Bs, eating and drinking establishments etc; there would also be an opportunity for a small chandlery to tie in with Lochaline Harbour.
We are also investigating a possibility of a small health suite to become part of the building and would like to hear your views on that. We envisage this to be running like a small gym with an annual membership subscription for local people or a one off visitor payment.
We feel that the building must be able to sustain itself financially and not become a millstone for the community, we also feel that it’s activities should enhance rather than duplicate or compete unfairly with other existing businesses or services in the community. We propose that there will be some flexible space available for long term use, i.e. establishing a business office, seasonal art exhibitions in conjunction with local and visiting artists/talent; corporate support for businesses; public access to Wi-Fi.
With doing this project, we hope to create at least one full time job to start with, with the opportunity to grow. We will also be offering some volunteering opportunities to anyone who wants to get involved in promoting Morvern as a destination.
The current plans can be found HERE