A Future for Strathaven Town Mill
Having taken stock of the current situation, the ambition of the Strathaven Town Mill Art and Heritage (STMAHC) is to stay focused as a medium sized group of volunteers who are passionate about preserving the Mill and to bring the Town Mill back into full use as a community facility and to upgrade it for the benefit and enjoyment of the community.
Feasibility and Design
STMAHC was in 2013 fortunate enough to secure funding from LEADER MTI to meet the cost of a Feasibility and Design Study being produced by “Dress for the Weather”. This study sets out in detail a proposal for major upgrade and reconfiguration works. The Study was discussed at a public meeting in February 2014 attended by the authors of the report the Committee members and members of STMAHC and general members of the Public. The reception of the study was very positive. A minute was taken of the presentation and the questions asked. It was noted that the desired outcome would never achievable under the current situation.
A Practical Approach
STMAHC takes a practical approach in accepting that it cannot bring its vision to fruition without funding however the key to securing funding is our plans, which will not only have our aspirations but will be viable. STMAHC are of the opinion that if funding becomes available that it would be in a perfect world (not that one exists) ideal to have the project completed in one stage to upgrade both the Mill and the Theatre and club room. Some initial approaches have been made to funders but we need to approach funders for development costs and then go to other major funders for monies for the project. Most of the funds being sought are for the structures but this will lead to our other aims to promote an interest in the heritage of the buildings and to foster a community spirt in support of these aims. The physical work will lead to contacts with local schools and colleges to develop old building skills and apprenticeships and this will enable us to have a building to use to support the community for arts, craft, meetings and a communal area.to gather. This shall require some paid staff but the emphasis is on the community, our community.
With a weather proof and warm building we can continue to provide facilities for local arts, crafts and meeting places for the community.
In the Design and Feasibility report mention is made of the possibility in the future of looking at a means by which the hydroelectric water facility could be regenerated.
The refurbishment and installation of new water turbines for the generation of electrical power has been assessed and is viable. This suggests that after installation the Mill could be self-sustaining and self-financing. The Mill cottage is privately owned; the current owners are very supportive of STMAHC and are sympathetic to the idea of re-emergence of the water turbines to produce green self-sustaining energy. In the current climate with the emphasis on green energy STMAHC have again approached Local Energy Scotland to provide funds and guidance to again produce electric power from the town mill water turbines. If managed properly this provide an income that will give the building life and provide future generations a much needed community centre.
The STMAHC is in discussions to go to the next stage with Local Energy Scotland to continue with design studies and seek guidance for construction of the project.
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Strathaven Town Mill
Stonehouse Road, Strathaven, Lanarkshire. Registered charity number: SC010579