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120 years old: Have your say on future of treasured Evanton landmark the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Hall


By Hector MacKenzie

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Gabrielle Buist of Evanton Community Trust with Maureen Cusick outside the Diamond Jubilee Hall, now the focus of consultation. Picture: Callum Mackay
Gabrielle Buist of Evanton Community Trust with Maureen Cusick outside the Diamond Jubilee Hall, now the focus of consultation. Picture: Callum Mackay

A FAST-GROWING Easter Ross community which recently showcased the abundance of enterprising people and businesses who call it home has sounded a rallying call over a treasured local landmark.

Evanton Community Trust is calling on local people to give their views on the future of the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Hall.

Although the Jubilee Hall has been at the heart of the community for 120 years, it faces a number of challenges, largely relating to its age.

The internal layout, heating, and look and feel of the hall mean it is no longer meeting the needs of local people.

Some of the 50 local initiatives busy in the area used the venue to showcase their enterprises last October. And the village has also witnessed significant housebuilding, indicating its enduring popularity.

How we reported th village's bustling enterprise scene last October.
How we reported th village's bustling enterprise scene last October.

Despite the challenges the hall faces, feedback gathered by Evanton Community Trust last year revealed real affection for it – and a demand for a range of activities there if improvements to the building could be made.

There now is an opportunity for Evanton Community Trust to purchase a small area of land to the north of the Jubilee Hall.

We would like to see a DJ Hall which is well used and supported by as many local people as possible because it meets their needs.

That would mean that the building could be extended and upgraded to provide a more modern, energy efficient, and multi-purpose space for local people, while retaining the historic old building.

This will only happen if the community supports it – and it is vital that whatever happens next at the Jubilee Hall reflects the community’s aspirations for the building.

Evanton Community Trust wants to hear from local people, community groups and local businesses on how the Jubilee Hall should develop so it will meet their needs.

Mandy Macleman, chair of Evanton Community Trust, explained: “This is a great opportunity to help shape the facilities in the village for the future. We would like to see a DJ Hall which is well used and supported by as many local people as possible because it meets their needs.

"Please do fill in the survey and come along to the consultation events so we can make sure that any plans for the future of the Hall reflect what the Evanton community wants”.

To help develop their plans, the Scottish Land Fund awarded Evanton Community Trust funding for community engagement and feasibility work. Community Enterprise Ltd, a community development specialist and charity, and John Gilbert Architects have been appointed to work alongside the Trust.

There are several ways in which people in Evanton can give their views.

A community survey is running this month. Paper copies can be picked up and dropped off at the Jubilee Hall and the Evanton Co-op. Alternatively, the survey can be completed online at bit.ly/EvantonSurvey

There will be an open drop-in event on Thursday, February 16 to chat about the future of the hall. People are invited to drop in between either 2.30pm and 4pm; or 7pm and 8.30pm to share views.

For those that can’t attend then, there will be an online drop-in session on Thursday, February 23 at 7pm. Sign up at bit.ly/EvantonEvent

Further information and updates will be available on the Evanton Community Trust website and Facebook pages.


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