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Public support for new Ardersier Community Company (07/09/09)
Ardersier residents have voted overwhelmingly to establish their own social enterprise.
They are backing the creation of a community company - Ardersier Development Company Ltd – which would develop a community hub around the old school hall and the War Memorial Hall.
It is intended that local people will own and manage the company and already 37 have indicated they will be prepared to become members of the company.
It is proposed that the community company will take over the Old School Hall from The Highland Council as part of its Village Halls’ Equalisation policy and, in tandem with the War Memorial Hall, develop a facility that could provide a range of services including:
• nursery provision
• elderly day care
• youth facilities
• arts centre
• heritage centre
• service point
• small business space
• office space
Plans for the new company were unveiled at a public meeting earlier this week, when 70 residents attended a meeting in the old school hall.
Sandy Devidge, who is Chairman of Ardersier and Petty Community Council, and the Joint Steering Group, said: “This is a milestone for Ardersier that will give local people control over resources in their own village. We are delighted with the support shown, both from locals and from the public agencies. HIE, UHI and the Council have already committed support for what we are doing. We are determined to take advantage of this chance to develop the Station Road area for the benefit of the whole village.”
Bill Mitchell, trustee of the War Memorial Hall, said: “This is a great chance for the whole village to work together and our best chance for a modern hall that can provide more services.”
The four Highland Councillors for the Culloden and Ardersier Ward are fully supportive of the local community taking control of their own village and see it as an exciting opportunity that could help to regenerate Ardersier by creating a community hub at its heart.