We are on the move at last

Following the agreement from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund together with support from the Council and Scottish Enterprise we are working on the next stage of our plan to establish a long term sustainable future for Shambellie House and grounds.

Our plan to use the House as a base for the delivery of short breaks where people can learn new skills or learn more about their interests will require a different solution to those set out in the Princes Regeneration Trust report.  This means we needed to re-visit this work to establish new solutions to the refurbishment of the buildings and revise the cost estimates.

We have asked Simpson and Brown, the architects who prepared the schemes for the Princes Regeneration Trust to return to the House to suggest ways that we can accommodate the need for more workrooms and accommodation.  They will be assisted in this by specialist engineers and local quantity surveyors McGown Millar who have a long experience of the House.

While our understanding from the site visits we have done to similar facilities that there is a continuing demand for this type of facility we needed to carry out our own market research and this was completed in January

In parallel with this we need to ensure that the Board has all the skills necessary to see this project through and to manage the business once the works are complete.  This will involve an audit of the skills needed, training and recruitment. 

We have held a series of Workshops with local experts interested in working with us to deliver a wide range of courses that reflect our region, drawing inspiration from its culture and environment.  These were extremely popular and we were all impressed by the levels of skills and the enthusiasm we met at these workshops

Finally, we need to bring all this information together into a new business plan to establish if the project can generate sufficient income to be self sustaining in the long term.

Bringing all of this together will take us to the end of April at which time we hope to be in a position to work on grant applications for the capital funding that will be needed to turn our plans into reality.  All of this has been discussed with the Scottish Government who continue to support our work - and to pay the costs of managing the building!