As part of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland’s Radical Action Plan, it has been decided by Presbytery that Wigtown Church Hall has to be sold/disposed by the end of Dec 2023.
Wigtown and Bladnoch Community Initiative along with individual members of the Church congregation are keen to see the building retained for the benefit of the community of Wigtown and to develop its place as a central resource for residents and visitors alike. There have been several ideas already put forward for how the building could be used, and this project aims to acquire the building for the community and develop it into a sustainable community asset.
The Church Hall comprises a one storey purpose built church hall premises of brick and blockwork construction situated on the northside of Lochancroft Lane, near to the town centre. Internally, the premises comprises a traditional church hall and accommodates a large main hall, kitchen, private offices/rooms, storage areas and a series of toilet facilities. The flooring throughout is solid and overlaid in a combination of carpet, vinyl and wooden flooring dependent upon the location within the premises.
It is currently used by various church and community groups for meetings, recreational activities (such as table tennis and badminton), a toddlers play group, local flower and produce festival and occasional performances.
The Hall was originally build with funds raised from the community and there is therefore a strong connection and strength of feeling towards its continued use and benefit to the people of Wigtown.
The initiative own and manage the former Bank of Scotland building in Wigtown.
After public meetings, and work with a range of groups and organisations in the area, run by W&BCI with expertise from Community Enterprise, the building was successfully converted into:
Affordable flats – upstairs into a family size affordable flat; and the back part of the ground floor into a fully accessible one bedroom affordable flat. These tenancies are for people with local connection;
Bunkhouse – convert the main “retail” area of the bank that opens off the square into a bunkhouse for visitors with an internet hub. Similar to the bunkhouse idea at the Barholm Arms in Creetown, affordable holiday accommodation for pilgrimage, walkers, cyclists and so on is lacking in Wigtown. And at busy times, there is just not enough holiday accommodation in the area. Offering maybe 6 bunkhouse beds means that more people can stay in the town, and shop and eat and drink at local businesses as they appreciate our wonderful town and the surrounding Machars countryside.
Please help us Let Wigtown Flourish. Can Wigtown bank on your support?
The Old Showfield on Southfield Lane has stood empty and neglected for fifteen years. Wigtown & Bladnoch Community Initiative has been formed to regain community ownership of the Showfield. We feel that it would greatly enhance Wigtown.
Initial ideas for the future use of the Showfield have included affordable housing and business units, an area for outdoor events with space for a marquee and parking, a community orchard and various projects.
Using Community Right to Buy legislation, the Scottish Government has given us the right to buy the land if the current owners put it on the market. If that happens, we would apply to the Scottish Land Fund for a grant towards the cost. Unfortunately the owners, 3b construction, have a planning application for 43 houses (of various sizes) for the old showfield. For the present, therefore, we are waiting to see what the Council decides about their application.