Glascairn is the area around the Culbokie Shop and Post Office. The Glascairn Community Project refers to the community-led initiative to create a vibrant new village heart providing opportunities and services for everyone in the village.
Culbokie village is very spread out, has no real centre and in the last 30 years has grown beyond the services that are currently available. Culbokie Community Trust (CCT) aims to put the heart back into the village for those that live here, and also to bring in friends and neighbours from the surrounding area to use the new services and help support the other businesses and facilities that already exist.
Following extensive community consultation, CCT purchased 0.5ha of land in the corner of the field nearest to the shop in May 2015, through the Community Right to Buy Scheme.
In the first phase of development CCT now plans to build a new community hub and gathering place on the site. With a café as a focal point, we propose to work with Inverness-based mental health charity Birchwood Highland, to deliver a programme of activities for all the different sections of the community and particularly for those with the greatest needs. A covered space around the café will provide a venue suitable for outdoor community events and an outdoor space will include gardens, paths and seats. There will also be growing spaces for fruit, herbs and flowers, which will help supply the café and provide community gardening opportunities.
Future phases under consideration include the development of small business units to provide services and employment and small, very accessible and affordable housing for those requiring high levels of support.
CCT is working closely with Tulloch Homes who will be developing the adjacent housing site. The design process is underway and the most recent version of the design plan for both the housing development and the community project can be viewed here.
CCT estimates that Phase 1 of the project will cost around £1m. Our aim is to fund this development entirely from grants and donations to avoid taking out interest-bearing loans. This is partly because, given the size of the village and its limited natural attractions, banks are unlikely to see this as a commercial venture. It will also ensure that we can focus on delivering benefits rather than repaying loans.