Thursday 24th August marked a significant milestone for Craigsfarm Community Development Project (CFCDP) with a Topping Out Ceremony to celebrate the milestone of the last beam being in place on Craigsfarm’s new modern community hub. Members of CFCDP Board, staff, local community, funders, partners and design team met on site to acknowledge this by signing a column, which will remain in place within the hub for generations to come.
Image courtesy of reddishpink media
Craigsfarm is Craigshill’s oldest building and has been at the heart of community life in Craigshill for nearly five decades, providing a wide range of community services as well as office and activity space for local community groups and charities.
This milestone is the culmination of 6 years of community consultation, planning and fundraising and is enabled by financial support from the Big Lottery Fund, the Scottish Government, West Lothian Council, The Robertson Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The build is scheduled to conclude at the end of January next year and thereafter the new hub will open its doors to the community once again. The new hub will expand services and projects for local people including a larger community café including children’s play area, improved meeting and office space, flexible community activity space and outdoor community space. The revitalised Craigsfarm will be under the control of the community of Craigshill after a successful asset transfer from West Lothian Council in 2016.
The Community Hub project will support regeneration of the social, economic and environmental fabric of Craigshill (Livingston) through £1.6million+ of investment. The project will safeguard 3 jobs and create another 5.5 FTE and on a yearly basis provide up to 30 volunteering placements; enabled through the creation of 585 sqm of new community facilities and developing 132 sqm of outdoor community space. CFCDP has started the process of recruiting new staff and volunteers to support the delivery of services from the building which will include bespoke projects to support those facing loneliness and social isolation, those with poor mental health and those looking to enhance their employability. It is estimated that such projects will support up to 2900 and support a number of third sector organisations deliver essential services.
Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said, “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players this much valued centre is being refurbished and developed for the benefit of local people. Community ownership can deliver huge social, educational and economic opportunities. I wish the people of Craigshill all the very best for the future as they celebrate reaching this significant milestone towards opening their new centre.”
Dave King, West Lothian’s Executive councillor for culture and leisure said: “West Lothian Council are delighted to support this important milestone in the redevelopment of Craigsfarm”
“Over the last six years the council has worked closely with the community to support the successful transfer of the campus to community ownership, and to support the exciting redevelopment of a new community facility that will make a positive contribution towards the social, economic and environmental regeneration of Craigshill and the surrounding area.”
Cathie O’Boyle, Chairperson, Craigsfarm Community Development Project Ltd “After six years of hard work the community will finally begin to see the new Craigsfarm take shape which is testament to their ongoing support and involvement over the years. The Board and staff team are very much looking forward to opening the doors to old faces and welcoming new members of the community into the Hub early next year”.
Nicola Welsh, Chief Executive. SANDS Lothians. “We were based at Craigsfarm from 2012 and held our monthly support group meetings here as well as our counselling support. We have relocated temporarily but we miss our home! We cannot wait to return to this beautiful and purpose built building where we will also be able to hold our Mother and Toddler group. We feel excited about the prospect of being part of this new community building which we will be proud to be part of”