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 now 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 need 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 need to carry out our own market research and this will be commissioned later this summer.

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 also need to work with local experts who would be involved in the delivery of these courses to develop the course content and materials and to establish high standards to meet the expectations of a demanding audience.

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 into 2018 at which time we hope to be in a position to seek 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 pay the costs of managing the building.