Plans to renovate Culrain hall and add an extension to create a small bunkhouse and cafe, alongside a better heating system and insulation to ensure the hall can be open the whole year round.
Culrain village hall is an anchor building that facilitates a sense of community and helps to ensure people stay in the village. Now, it has come to a point in its life cycle where a major renovation is required. The Community Hearth project aims to modernize and expand the facilities, so that it will support the generations to come.
In 2017 the community came together to plan a vision for the hall. It concluded that there was a pressing need for the hall to provide a modern, communal meeting space. Since 2019, the Kyle and Sutherland Development Trust is working with the community to develop a more ambitious concept for the hall that connects with a vision for the future of Culrain. This new ambition grew to not only renovate the hall, but to extend use to serve visitors:
- Build an extension with a small self-contained bunkhouse.
- Use of the kitchen space as a small commercial café.
- Establish an electric bike charging point and bike rental.
- Become a gateway to the revitalisation of the forest walks and cycle trails.
A stakeholder discussion took place virtually in February 2021, attended by hall committee members and representatives of the following groups and organisations: Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, Planet Sutherland, Sutherland Riding Club, Southern Accordion & Fiddle club, SSE Community Fund, Highland Council (Recreation and access), Ardgay & District Community Council, and Mountain biking Scotland.
Community Enterprise is creating a Development Plan that will be the road map to facilitate the Hall Committee to deliver the Culrain Community Hearth project in a manageable way that may need to be phased to ensure fundability and that can be achieved within the capacity of this small community.