Who are MAKAR, and what do they do?
MAKAR are a local architect-led design and build Company who were successful in securing the tender for the new Community Hub. Their role has been to work with SCD up until the end of the detailed design stage on submission of the building warrant application for the new hub.
Why is the hall going to cost £2.3 million?
The estimated cost is based on the requirements for the hub that the community have asked for and to sustain a 100-year building which will rely on a renewable energy system which was proposed by the architects, it will also assist on low energy operating costs, ensuring that the building is financially resilient.
The ground floor will include a multi-use hall that can seat 200 people. The hall will be a versatile area, with movable partitions, a sprung floor and ample storage space. This area can be used by community groups and for functions, such as conferences, meetings, festive markets, book launches, fashion shows, sport, concerts, weddings, music and ceilidhs.
There will be public toilets and showers, with a separate door which can be used by customers of the adjacent outdoor sports facility. It will also allow the public toilets to remain open when the other sections of the Community Hub are closed. An upstairs area holds another large meeting/youth area and gallery space on the walls, fully accessible with stairs and a lift.
Connected by an entrance pergola/courtyard, with interpretive panels, the second building (our re-purposed Millennium Hall) will house a shop for groceries and crafts and café with 44 covers and a terrace. The café will have stunning views through the floor to ceiling glass panels of the Findhorn River and 19th century A listed railway viaduct. Children can enjoy the small playpark next to cafe, and customers will have access to free WIFI throughout the complex.
Is there going to be a pub in the new Community Hub?
There will not be a pub in the new but the new hub will have a café. The cafe facility will be licensed to serve alcohol with meals, (consumption on the premises). As per the new build village hub this will be licensed on an application to the council for a temp license for functions weddings conferences etc. Including late licenses for dances and weddings.
What has happened to the path?
The SCD board continues to review the additional requirements imposed by the roads department to meet the conditions of planning. Local councillors have been encouraged to coordinate a meeting to see if we can reach a compromise and Mark Clough of Highland Council is consulting with engineers on options for a green verge (not kerbed) with occasional drain ‘off lets’ and alternative re surfacing (currently bitmac is specified) reducing the amount of retaining wall needed. However, if alternatives are found then it will probably mean applying for a formal variation to the conditions – more time and possibly more upfront cost if technical drawings are needed, but would result in a reduction in capital cost. We hope to have a response from Highland Council soon and will keep everyone updated.
What will happen to the play park during the new build?
The playpark will be closed for the duration of the build. This due to health and safety issues including the heavy works vehicles which will be on site. SCD is exploring if there is any way that the play park can be temporarily relocated elsewhere in the village while construction work is underway.
What stage is the Hub project at?
A full strategic plan is now being worked upon by the Admin team for submission by the deadline of the 25th May 2017 for our Big Lottery fund application. The procurement procedure for the appointment of an independent Quantity Surveyor (QS) for the new hall build, has been completed, and a short list of applicants was reviewed. The Torrance Partnership have been selected as the QS to review project costs for the hall design prior to going out to tender for the new build and they will commence work immediately. The fee for Torrance Partnership to complete the first part of the cost review is paid for by the Big Lottery under our development funding application. In addition to the Big Lottery Application we are now progressing other fund raising avenues. An application to the Bank of Scotland Foundation Fund has been submitted specifically to cover the cost of the power source for the new hub complex.
Assuming our application to the Big Lottery is successful, we anticipate construction work starting in the latter half of this year.