Former Bank of Scotland Building - Next Steps
Now that we have Scottish Government approval to proceed we now need to secure the necessary funding to purchase the building and then convert it to meet the ambitious plans for its development as a community asset.
The Initiative’s plan for the building is based on detailed work with the local community. This showed the need for affordable housing so younger and older people can stay in the area; so there will be a three bedroom affordable flat and a one bedroom accessible pensioner flat. Gardens behind the building could become community allotments. The main retail area, where banking used to take place, will become a bunkhouse providing affordable tourist accommodation, and linking into a growing network of hostels and bunkhouses supporting cycling, walking and pilgrimage tourism.
The Initiative hopes to include a cash machine and a part time community bank in the redevelopment as well. The project will save an important, listed building which might otherwise have remained empty and uncared for, in the centre of Wigtown’s
historic conservation area.
Funding to complete the purchase could come from the Scottish Land Fund. The Fund was set up by the Scottish Government to support community ownership of property provided the community favours the plans being put forward. The Initiative already has a stage 1 grant from the Fund to cover the costs of consultation, design work, planning and so on. They are confident that stage 2 funding will be approved,
putting in 95% of the value of the building. Funding needs to be organised over the next few months, with the deadline for completion of the purchase in December 2018.
Alongside the application for funding to purchase the building we are also pulling together final designs and costs to carry out the conversion work. Our Design Team has produced an indicative cost plan for the total development works for the building of £242,176 plus VAT.