A FEASIBILITY study on the community development of a derelict garage on Drymen Square was just one of the topics of interest at Drymen Community Trust’s open evening last night. (Tuesday 9 June).
Drymen residents from across the community council area were welcomed to the event where they could find out about past, present and future projects and those who aren’t already members of the trust were encouraged to join.
“We signed up 15 new members boosting our total membership to over a hundred” says outgoing secretary John Aitken. “The open evening was a huge success and we had around 40 folks along, many of whom stayed on for our AGM.”
Working alongside the community council, the community trust is an independent charity whose role is to support community development. But unlike the community council – which exists primarily as link between the community and Stirling Council and is concerned with statutory issues like roads and planning – the trust can secure funds to deliver projects and ‘own’ things.
“Our main asset is Drymen Square and the road around it,” explains John. “The trust is a company and, as such, as can own assets and execute plans completely independently. One of our ongoing aims is to make the square better.”
The trust arranges the Christmas tree, litter picks and the weekly piping in the square (Thursday evening through July and August) and is working with the landowner to drive forward development of the derelict garage.
Funded through the Big Lottery Investing in Ideas fund, Nick Wright Planning has been working with the trust to help distill ideas and narrow down the potential options for the garage.
“Some of the suggested improvements include relocation of the library, a youth cafe, exhibition space or even housing,” says Nick. “We’ve done some work to evaluate the level of activity that different uses of the site would contribute to the village.
“For example, housing generates relatively little activity and footfall, whereas exhibition space or a nursery would attract greater number of people.”
The trust will be evaluating the potential uses and the related constraints and challenges along with other improvements to the square and future plans for the village hall.
In addition to the development projects, the trust helps fund village organisations including Drymen in Bloom, sponsors the local school’s lacrosse team and is responsible for the current path improvements from Drymen to neighbouring Balmaha and Croftamie.