The Ardchattan Centre

The Ardchattan Centre

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OUR VISION: A vibrant Centre that engages and inspires people of all ages to move to and live in this area.

OUR MISSION: To create a Hub for all the community by bringing the building back to life as a sustainable social enterprise which will:

  • celebrate the heritage and culture of Bonawe and the surrounding area
  • stimulate enterprising activities
  • offer education and recreational opportunities
  • nurture creativity and promote wellness

The Ardchattan Centre (TAC) was established in 2019 to acquire and develop the former Ardchattan Primary School, for community benefit. The Ardchattan Primary was built in 1866, situated in the village of Bonawe, near Oban in Argyll. The premises have been at the heart of the community for decades, providing space for community events and activities. The school once served a thriving community of nearly 1000 people, which has declined to just over 130 people living locally in recent times. The declining population and subsequent falling school roll, resulted in the Council approving the mothballing of Ardchattan Primary School in 2014 with closure in 2016.

The schools closure had a negative impact on the community, which was left with no public space for events or engagement. A preliminary consultation event was held in Ardchattan Primary in March 2018 to seek the views of the community on the future of Ardchattan Primary School. This event was well attended and confirmed the community’s support to secure the premises for community benefit. The local community came together forming The Ardchattan Centre and successfully secured £157,000 from Scottish Land Fund to purchase the former school premises from Argyll and Bute Council in 2020.

The volunteer board is now working on plans to refurbish and improve the facility, returning it once more to the heart of the community as a hub for activity, creativity and engagement which can assist to create jobs and encourage repopulation. Scottish Land Fund has also provided support for a part time Development and Fundraising Consultant to assist with detailed planning and securing further funding to implement development plans.

Securing the premises in community ownership has been a catalyst in stimulating greater community connection and engagement, with regular events and fundraising activities prior to Covid19 restrictions. The organisation is now working towards reopening and taking forward development plans to generate income and maintain the premises as a community hub.

OUR VALUES: include:

  • be open and transparent in our governance and decision making
  • promote inclusive behaviours based on trust, friendship and collaboration
  • work to build community resilience, developing local skills and promoting the circular economy
  • take an enterprising approach to running the centre, striving to achieve financial independence
  • be mindful of The Ardchattan Centre’s environmental impact, aiming to minimise the carbon footprint and be guided by the principles of environmental sustainability