Efforts continue on proposed Cumbernauld Village Hub

Written by Scott Campbell. Scott Campbell
Published at 22:38 on 17 May 2014.
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Cumbernauld Old Primary. Pic: Cumbernauld Media.

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EFFORTS by community activists in Cumbernauld to secure the future of Cumbernauld Old Primary School and refurbish the dilapidated building into a ‘hub’ continue to be made – under a new name.

The Cumbernauld House Trust has been officially renamed to become the ‘Cumbernauld Community Development Trust’, after a long-fought battle to save Cumbernauld House from being converted into residential properties.

North Lanarkshire Council granted planning permission to CHB Developments Ltd, on March 31st 2011, which allowed for the some 280-year-old, grade A listed building, converted into ten residential properties.

After losing the battle to prevent Cumbernauld House being converted, the Cumbernauld House Trust put proposals for the refurbishment of Cumbernauld Village’s Old Primary School building, in June 2012, out to consultation.

In alliance with Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community, Cumbernauld House Trust announced a joint-venture to establish a ‘hub’ on June 3rd, 2012.

At the time, a Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community spokesperson said the working partnership would see the Old Primary School converted into a, “…much-needed, sustainable community facility to Cumbernauld.” 

Cumbernauld House Trust’s Robert Allen took to the Trust’s website to unveil the proposals. 

He said that the Cumbernauld House Trust and Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community had “…been given a couple of the rough drafts of the possible shape of the new building” and “wanted to share” them with the public to gauge opinion from residents.

The plans included a multi-purpose event space; a shared service centre for local groups and charities; a heritage centre – or museum - to celebrate the history of old town Cumbernauld and new town Cumbernauld; a visitor’s centre; and, a pedestrian heritage trail.

Cumbernauld House Trust was then awarded almost £15,000 of funding, with £10,000 granted by the Big Lottery Fund and £4,100 by Historic Scotland, to enable two feasibility studies – by Jura Consultants and Malcolm Fraser Architects – to be undertaken.

Commenting in June 2012, when announcing the acquisition of the Old Primary School, Robert McAllen, then Chair of Cumbernauld House Trust, said: “Once finished, this facility will be a real asset to Cumbernauld and, while it will take a lot of hard work and effort to complete, we’re confident we can pull it off with the help of the local community.” 

Philip Morgan-Klein also spoke out at the time. 

Mr Klein, Chair of Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community, said: “It’s been hard for people in the Village to see the school deteriorate over the last 10 years, but CVAC and Cumbernauld House Trust have put together a plan which we hope will turn this building around. We are hopeful that we can turn this building from an eyesore into something that Cumbernauld Village, and Cumbernauld as a whole, can be proud of.”

This month, however, Cumbernauld House Trust has confirmed that there has been officially changed to ‘Cumbernauld Community Development Trust Ltd’. 

“After much discussion and deliberation, we’ve now formally changed the name of our organisation to Cumbernauld Community Development Trust,” a group spokesperson explained.

“It was decided that this name best reflected the aims and ambitions of our group and avoided any potential confusion with other groups in the area. 

“The name change has now been formally accepted by both Companies House and the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) and ensures the knowledge, experience, and reputation we gained as Cumbernauld House Trust carries on.”

Registered as a charity on August 18th, 2010, the Cumbernauld House Trust has simply be renamed and exists to advance education, citizenship, community development, environmental protection or improvement, the arts, heritage, culture or science; and, to provide recreational facilities or recreational activities, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended, according to the Scottish Charity Register.

“We are continuing to work on the exciting, ambitious, desired, and deliverable project to convert the former Cumbernauld Primary School building in Cumbernauld Village into a sustainable Community and Heritage Hub,” the group’s spokesperson added.

“We’ve formed a number of partnerships with local and national organisations recently who will help us to move this project forward to the next level and we look forward to consulting with the local community of Cumbernauld in more depth in the coming months.”
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