Old Tarradale School

Progress on the Old School Project

  • Project Worker already reaching the parts others couldn't
    Ross Turner just joined us this week to give a boost to our work on the survey about the potential uses of the old school building. Already he's signed up local businesses and public offices to act as "post boxes" for it. From Muir of Ord, Ross is on a break from his studies at the University of Strathclyde. He might represent a younger generation but he still remembers the days when Forbes Cafe was a regular meeting place for everyone in the village.

    Ross is distributing the paper version of our questionnaire to key points around the village, so next time you pop into the Co-op, the garage, the Post Office, Blythswood, the library, indeed almost anywhere you can think of, make sure to fill one in. They're only two sides of a single piece of paper - and you can leave it where you got it. Whichever location, they've agreed to collect your forms and pass them back to us.

    Ross will also be on hand at events during the Gala next week. He'll be happy to complete a questionnaire with you and to pass your views on to the project group.

    Posted 18 Jul 2013, 08:33 by Simon Noble
  • Interim Report received by Hall & Facilities Board
    Muir of Ord Hall & Facilities Company Board received a report from the OTS Project Group on Thursday 6th June outlining progress towards the preparation of the Business Plan for the proposed community hub at the Old Tarradale School. The report is available below in the "notes of meetings" page via the link below.

    The full report remains on target for submission to the Board by the end of September alongside the final draft of a Stage 2 funding application to the Big Lottery.
    Posted 12 Jul 2013, 10:16 by Simon Noble
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The main milestones in 2013

  •  FebruaryProject group meets with consultancy teams for the first time
     MarchTwo sub-groups set up to progress heritage and communications planning
     AprilFirst phase of consultations with local businesses, clubs and organisations, & regional public and voluntary sector service providers
     MayConsultation workshop with local organisations; OPEN DOOR event at Fair in the Square; progress report to Company
     JuneDesign brief complete and first drawings complete
     JulyFurther public consultation at Gala event
     AugBusiness plan income & expenditure projections reviewed with Company
     SeptPresentation of final draft of business plan

About the Old Tarradale School Project

A group from the Muir of Ord community has been working since February 2011 to develop a plan to seek agreement for the transfer of ownership of the Old Tarradale School building from Highland Council.  The Old Tarradale School Project Group is now a sub-group of the new Hall & Facilities Company and is working with the aim of developing the old school building as a community hub incorporating a café, heritage/visitors centre and community meeting area. 

The Group has been in discussion with Highland Council officials and local councillors since February 2011 and were asked to produce a business plan for the proposed redevelopment of the old school building.  The group made an application to the Big Lottery Fund and what's called a "Stage 1" grant was recently approved to enable the Company develop a comprehensive business plan for the project and submit a Stage 2 application. The Stage 2 application would be for the cost of acquiring and modifying the building and establishing the community hub as a going concern.

The Group held discussions at the end of 2012 with Inverness-based Calman Trust, which operates the successful Artysan's Café in Inverness.  An agreement in principle has been reached that Calman lease part of building from the Company to operate a social enterprise café from the old school premises offering employment training for young people.

At the end of February 2013 a team of development consultants lead by economist Steve Westbrook and a design team lead by architect Billy Reynolds were appointed to take forward the planning, consultation and research needed to formulate both the business plan and the funding application. The Group meets with these teams and Calman Trust on a monthly basis and notes from these meetings can be found via the page link below.

It is hoped that the business plan will be ready for approval by the Company some time in September 2013.