Cumbernauld Village ‘Community Hub’ project takes a step forward as it is found that proposals are feasible

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 12:39 GMT on Friday, 2nd November 2012.

Picture is copyright of Cumbernauld House Trust.
THE Cumbernauld Village School ‘Community Hub’ project has taken another step forward after two feasibility studies have shown that the refurbishment of the old school is a realistic prospect. 

The proposed multi-million pound project, which is being pursued by the Cumbernauld House Trust (CHT) and community group Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community (CVAC) welcomed the news following the completion of two feasibility studies into plans to convert the former Cumbernauld Primary School building in Cumbernauld Village into a sustainable community facility. 

Spokesman for Cumbernauld House Trust, Adam Smith, said: “It’s hugely rewarding to see this project move onto the next stage. It’s great that these plans have been developed in conjunction with local people from all over Cumbernauld, taking into account comments received at the public consultation, at community meetings, and by social media. We look forward to taking this exciting project forward and bringing a unique Community and Heritage Hub to Cumbernauld”. 

CHT and CVAC have been working together on plans to restore the decade-long, decaying and derelict building and to bring it under community ownership, with the assistance of North Lanarkshire Council. 

It is hoped that the facility, once complete, will boast a multi-purpose space available for sports use, functions, performance space, and cinema events; as well as a shared service centre for local charities and community groups; heritage space; and a café. 

The architectural and socio-economic feasibility studies have been carried out by Malcolm Fraser Architects and Jura Consultants respectively, with both companies bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the project. The feasibility studies forecast that the proposed facility will be sustainable and have the potential to begin making a profit within the first year. The completed development is estimated to cost in the region of £3.2 million. 

Cumbernauld House Trust is now in the process of approaching the Big Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund with the intention of submitting funding applications within the next few months. It is hoped these two organisations will fund the full amount of the development. Preparations for the disposal of the building by North Lanarkshire Council to Cumbernauld House Trust are already underway and are expected to be finalised once the full project funding has been granted. 

Philip Morgan-Klein, Chair of Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community, said “CVAC are delighted that the feasibility studies have been completed. This is an important step forward for the school project. The next task will be to apply to the Big Lottery Fund to convince them to provide the funding we need to transform the school into an asset for the Village and the whole town”. 

Lorna Bowden, Strategic Planning Business Manager with North Lanarkshire Council, said “I am delighted that these two Feasibility Studies have been completed and that they support the next stage in bringing this important landmark building back into use. This will be for the Trust and CVAC to seek grant funding for the school’s refurbishment and extension, to secure a new life for this historic building with a new mix of community uses and facilities”. 

Further to completion of the two studies, the two local groups have appealed for donations have said that wnyone who wishes to donate to the project can text Cumbernauld to 70004, resulting in a a one-off £3 donation from their Pay As You Go credit.