In 2017 the Community Council approached CRT for assistance in developing their activities. Since the closure of the former school the only facility available to community groups to meet is the Waterside Miners Welfare.
Having suffered from under investment and inadequate maintenance for several years the facility is in need of renovation and decoration to bring it up to a standard suitable for use by the wider community.
The need for a communal asset for the village has been exacerbated by significant housing development around the village, leading to the possibility of an increased population failing to integrate with the existing community.
CRT worked with the Community Council and Miners Welfare to support their activities and secure the building’s future as a community asset. In 2018 the Coalfield Community Futures programme funded £20,000 worth of projects delivered by the Community Council.
Projects included children’s activities, environmental undertakings, public health and wider community engagement. The Miners Welfare was able to invest around £3,000 in a new central heating boiler as a result of the direct intervention of CRT Trustee and Scottish Chair Nicky Wilson.
Development of the Miners Welfare into a de facto community centre will require a significant renovation and marketing effort. In order to direct and define the project CRT helped the group to secure £10,000 in 2019 from the Big Lottery to fund a feasibility study.
An invitation to tender was circulated through the Public Contract Scotland website, resulting in the selection of Community Enterprise working with Inch Architects to provide a detailed breakdown of the renovation works required, the costs, and a marketing and development strategy to maximise the facilities use by the entire community.
Work has begun with an introductory meeting between the Community Council, the Miners Welfare, Community Enterprise and CRT at which the scope of the project was agreed and initial tasks prioritised.
The project is ongoing and due for completion by April 2020