Cumbernauld Cottage Trust have taken an important step towards its eventual goal of owning cottages that housed the town’s former theatre.
The trust has submitted an application to the Scottish Charity Regulator to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
They are also working away in the background on fundraising and planning ideas and are looking to enlist help from others with experience.
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The cottages in Cumbernauld that used to be home to the Cottage Theater were officially declared surplus to requirements by North Lanarkshire Council earlier this year, paving the way for a Community Asset Transfer of the buildings.
The 18th century cottages are situated on Braehead Road in the Kildrum area of the town, and originally formed part of the estate of Cumbernauld House.
They were home to the old theatre, and contained a public bar and a studio.
The premises have been lying empty since Cumbernauld Theater Trust moved to a brand new home at the Lanternhouse on the campus of Cumbernauld Academy.
Trust secretary Alison Russell told Lanarkshire Live: “For Cumbernauld Cottage Trust to succeed in our Community Asset Transfer application to the council, we need to show that we can raise the money to start up our project and sustain it.
“The costs of renovating and redeveloping the building for community purposes are substantial, so we are looking for people with some experience and lots of enthusiasm for fundraising, whether it’s at community level or in writing grant applications to help us raise that money.
“We need assistance in compiling our business plan too which will show how we intend to set up and operate the community facility and will include financial projections for the first few years.”
If successful with the asset transfer Cumbernauld Cottage Trust plan to develop the building as a community facility and dynamic creative space.
They have already had a feasibility study carried out, which threw up a variety of ideas including the inclusion of a cafe bar.
The Trust are also calling on local residents to back their bid to bring the building into the hands of the community.
Alison added: “It has been obvious from the start that there is a great deal of support for the project in the local area and we have a big mailing list and social media following.
“But now we need more current signed up members of the Trust to show funders that we have community support.
“We would particularly seek new members in the Kildrum area but anyone from the local area or from further afield with an interest in seeing the Cottages come to life again is welcome to join.
“All you have to do is fill in a form – there’s no cost – and you will receive regular updates, invitations to members’ meetings and opportunities to get involved.
To get your form just email us at [email protected] or get in touch via our Facebook page.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.