- Who is Corstorphine Community Centre (CCC)?
CCC is the new name for the charity which owns the Kirk Loan site and currently operates Community Activities from the Hub in St Johns Road. It was formed by amalgamating The Corstorphine Public Hall Ltd and Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre.
- How can I help?
The members of the board running CCC are all volunteers and we currently have vacancies for interested parties to join. However you do not have to join the board to help, you can volunteer in the shop, with activities or fundraising.
- What is Current Position on the Rebuild?
Re-build Project update
13th April 2021
Following the Council’s decision in December 2020 not to invest in the Corstorphine Community Centre rebuild project the Management Committee decided to reactivate our initial enquiry from February 2020 and investigate a Community Asset Transfer of the surplus Council building – Westfield House.
This is a long process and commenced at the end of February 2021 with a stage 1 panel meeting involving council officers and elected members. The decision of that meeting was that Corstorphine Community Centre could progress to stage 2.
Stage 2 involves working with officers to construct a sustainable business model for a Community Centre in the heart of Corstorphine. The initial actions are to carry out a range of surveys covering all aspects of the current state of the building and design options as to what possible uses it could be used for.
Contractors have visited the site to perform these tasks and reports are awaited and there are still questions outstanding as to the method of transfer the Council would prefer.
The Management Committee is also aware that individuals and organisations committed money to the rebuild project. We are in the process of contacting them directly to ask if they would be content that their contribution be allocated to the Community Asset Transfer option.
It is anticipated that the management committee will be in a position to evaluate all of the above at its June meeting and until such time as this evaluation is concluded no decision can be made in regard to our original site.
However in the meantime we will remain in our current temporary premises and continue to offer the range of services the community needs.
Corstorphine Community Centre
- I heard the building was not insured?
Many people do not realise the building was in 2 parts, both separately owned. The “Old Library” to the left was not insured. The Public Hall itself was fully insured for building costs and contents insurance.
- Who actually owns the building?
The “Old Library” recently developed as 2 flats, is owned privately. The Public Hall site is now owned by Corstorphine Community Centre, a registered SCIO (Charity number SC046009).
- The estimated rebuild cost seems very high?
We have engaged Professionals for the design and management of the project who have provided the estimated costs. Actual final costs will not be known until the contract is signed with a contractor. This process is ongoing until adequate funding is obtained.
- Why is the hall not being rebuilt as it was?
The design of the hall was no longer fit for use, with inadequate toilet facilities, and not disabled friendly and we wish to provide a modern, flexible space that meets all current building, legal and health & safety standards. Unfortunately this does mean an increase in the cost of rebuilding
- Why not build what we can afford with current funds?
The new building must produce enough revenue to fund all the core costs for the community activities run by the organisation. As we no longer receive funding from the City of Edinburgh Council and having undertaken extensive financial projections to ensure the centres viability it would not do so without all the planned spaces.
- Will the front façade of the building look the same?
Yes it will look identical from Kirk Loan as this facade is being retained/rebuilt. However this does add substantially to the cost of the rebuild.
- Why not apply to the National Lottery for funding?
The charity trustees spent much time and effort in 2018 doing exactly that, which has contributed to the delay as no work was allowed as this progressed. The CCC Rebuild was one of only seven projects from throughout Scotland that made it to this final stage. Unfortunately the application was refused for funding, despite being praised for its content and the work being undertaken.
- Who will operate the new building?
Corstorphine Community Centre has combined the two former organisations (Corstorphine Public Hall and Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre) into one, and will in future own and run the rebuilt facility and its activities.
- Why should the Council fund the Rebuild?
The total cost of the Rebuild project (including costs already incurred) is estimated at around £2.75m. This excludes the value of the site which Corstorphine Community Centre already own.
We are applying to the City of Edinburgh Council for a grant of £750k which is under 30% of the total value of the project (including value of site).
The Council has previously given a higher percentage grant contribution to many community projects throughout the City.
We believe that a £750k contribution from the Council towards a quality new Community facility for Corstorphine valued at around £3m is a good investment of Council Resources.
Other funding has come from the Insurance settlements, Local Fundraising, External funders .
- Does the Building need to be so Grand?
The design of the building has been developed on a very practical and functional basis with a strict attention to reducing costs and value for money. Space within the building has been designed to be flexible and be suitable for multi use.
The design does provide more usable space, including a second floor, which will allow the facility to be run on a self supporting basis, although there will still be a need to undertake fundraising to cover some costs.
The facility will run as a Community Centre which organises and directly runs activities to meet local needs rather than operating as a letting Hall which only provides the accommodation for already organised groups to use.
- Why does the Small Hall and Kitchen, which were not damaged in the fire, need rebuilt?
It has always been recognised that the Small Hall was in the poorest structural condition and had a limited lifespan. Consideration had been given over a period of time prior to the fire how the Small Hall could be improved.
Following the fire the Small Hall was blocked off as the site was unsafe. Unfortunately the Hall was broken into on a couple of occasions which caused further damage and required further efforts to block it off.
The old kitchen has always been an integral part of the redesigned main building that space is now designated for toilets as legal requirements require an increase in the number of toilets.
As it was recognised that the Small Hall had a limited usable life expectancy it was accepted that it would need replaced in the fairly near future.
Unfortunately following the conversion of the flats next door it would not be possible to access the Small Hall site after the main facility was built.
- As you are currently in temporary premises that are due for demolition how long are you able to stay at 191 St John’s Road and are there any alternative temporary premises?
The fact that our current premises are scheduled to be demolished by 2021/22 (we have not been given any definite information by our Landlord) sets an urgent time pressure for CCC to resolve the current funding shortfall for building the New Centre.
If we are unable to complete the Rebuild prior to our temporary premises being demolished The Corstorphine Hub will be closed and the programme of activies and services will cease to operate as at present we have been unable to identify any alternative suitable temporary premises within Corstorphine which would provide the accommodation required.
An additional concern is that the Front Façade of the burnt out building on the Kirk Loan site is continuing to deteriorate which may make it difficult to retain when we finally get on site. We are currently having to spend money on the retention scaffolding and ongoing safety inspections and carry out any resulting work to maintain the safety of the building façade .