Season’s Greetings from Mauchline CARS
Christmas newsletter - December 2019
It’s hard to believe that we're nearly at the end of 2019. It’s been a very busy and productive nine months since April, when we first heard that we’d been successful with our funding bid to Historic Environment Scotland for a Mauchline Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).
Since then we’ve set up a steering group comprising members of the community which meets monthly to help guide the Mauchline CARS project. In July we were joined by Lynn Rew, our dedicated Mauchline CARS Officer and this month she’s been joined by our Trainee Business Administrator, Billy Govans from Sorn. He will be serving his Modern Apprenticeship on the Mauchline CARS project having recently completed an HND at Ayrshire College.
One of Lynn’s first jobs in post was to hold a “before” photoshoot tour of buildings and public spaces to provide an image bank for the project. Work then began on the new logo and brand design. Once this was established we then put together a suite of marketing materials, pop up exhibition banners and a webpage at east-ayrshire.gov.uk/mauchlinecars.
We then held our project launch at Centrestane on 22 October. Over 100 people came along to find out more about the project. They were treated to a traditional skills display and interactive session by students of The Prince’s Foundation, Dumfries House Traditional Craft and Skills Development Centre, showing off skills such as lime plastering, stone carving and woodworking.
We’ve had a great response to the project so far and have already received a number of expressions of interest for our third party Small Grants Scheme. We’ve also been busy engaging with owners of buildings identified as priority projects to discuss availability of funding for building repairs.
We’ve been working with other people too. We’re currently involved in appointing a Conservation Accredited Architect to work with the CARS team over the 5 year period of the scheme.
We’re also busy liaising with EAC’S Tourism Development Officer to look at current and future tourism promotion opportunities for Mauchline.
Education, Training and Community Participation
Education and training, providing a legacy for future generations are a big part of any CARS project and we’ve already launched a programme of sessions:
- Steering Group Member Eliza Dunlop has been working on detailed research about Mauchline’s connections with “The White Monks of Melrose” with a view to producing a formal publication.
- In partnership with our Learning Outdoors Team (LOT) and Mauchline Primary School, we have carried out a number of Heritage Tours with a view to the children working, as part of L.O.T.’s Curriculum Outdoors Attainment Challenge (CoACh), towards Archaeology Scotland’s Heritage Heroes Award.
- In partnership with East Ayrshire Leisure Trust we have submitted an application for match funding to Creative Scotland towards the appointment of an Artist in Residence to work with the community for 18 months.
- Lynn Rew visited St Patrick’s Primary School in Auchinleck in October to give pupils a talk on the Mauchline CARS project.
- We’ve started developing a Mauchline CARS Young Persons Forum which will work alongside the Steering Group to help shape the CARS programme and input into the Education, Training and Community Participation Programme. This will ensure young people have a voice and an influence over the future of their community and is endorsed by the Council’s Children’s Champion and Depute Provost, Claire Leitch.
All in all, a very satisfying start to a very worthwhile project. We're wishing everyone in Mauchline and beyond a happy and healthy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and look forward to making a great difference to the village in 2020 and beyond.
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Contact Lynn Rew, Mauchline CARS Officer
Tel: 01563 3467