Fund­ing for Rock­field goal is nearly reached

The Oban Times - - NEWS - By Kathie Grif­fiths kgrif­[email protected]­

Peo­ple are des­per­ate to know when work will fi­nally start on Oban’s new Rock­field Cen­tre but there are still a few le­gal hur­dles to com­plete first.

Oban Com­mu­ni­ties Trust chair­man Gor­don McNab says noth­ing can be con­firmed un­til all le­gal­i­ties are con­cluded.

Only when the last part of the £3 mil­lion fund­ing pack­age is fi­nalised can the trust com­plete the ten­der process and an­nounce the suc­cess­ful con­trac­tor for re­fur­bish­ing the for­mer pri­mary school’s main build­ing.

‘We know peo­ple are des­per­ate to know when the work will start but we have a few more le­gal hur­dles to com­plete be­fore we can con­firm any­thing,’ said Mr McNab.

Funds needed to reach the goal are mount­ing up, get­ting closer to the £3 mil­lion tar­get.

The project has just re­ceived a £70,000 boost from the Coop Foun­da­tion’s Com­mu­nity Spa­ces pro­gramme, the first scheme in Scot­land to get its sup­port.

Mr McNab said: ‘This is ex­cel­lent news which racks up our fund­ing pack­age fur­ther to the £3 mil­lion goal.’

Just be­fore Christ­mas, High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise an­nounced it was award­ing £200,000 to the project, which has al­ready brought in £210,000 from a com­mu­nity shares of­fer.

Since the com­mu­nity bought the build­ing in May 2015 it has run a de­ter­mined fundrais­ing cam­paign as well as a whole pro­gramme of com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties in huts in the play­ground pro­mot­ing arts, cul­ture, her­itage and com­mu­nity well­be­ing.

‘Un­til the fi­nal pieces of the jig­saw are in place, work be­hind the scenes con­tin­ues as usual. De­ci­sions on the in­ter­nal fit-out plans have been work­ing in par­al­lel with the fundrais­ing and the trust has es­tab­lished ad­vi­sory groups for her­itage, arts and cul­ture, and well­be­ing from ex­ist­ing vol­un­teers,’ said Mr McNab.

Build­ing project man­ager An­drew Pinker­ton has been toil­ing hard with the de­sign team to get ev­ery­thing fi­nalised for the works to be­gin, and the build­ing is dry and sta­ble.

Eleanor MacK­in­non, project fa­cil­i­ta­tor, said: ‘One of the most amaz­ing things about the whole project is the amount of vol­un­teer­ing that goes on be­hind the scenes to al­low so many of our events to hap­pen. This past year has seen more than 8,400 vol­un­teers hours of time do­nated to progress this project. These are only the hours that have been recorded but I know of many, many hours that never make it to our track­ing sys­tem. We are all very ex­cited.’

Thumbs up for The Rock­field Cen­tre at the com­mu­nity shares launch in 2018.

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