As increasing numbers of people think about what it might mean to them, so interest is growing in the local community taking over ownership of Taymouth Castle estate. It is a large and ambitious project, but one that is too important to miss, allowing the castle and grounds to be purchased by a private developer, and lost to the community.
There is much work to be done but ,be assured, the work has begun and is gathering momentum. We are beginning to see the possibilities, and people are coming forward saying “I can help with that” and “here’s an idea that might work for the estate...our estate.” No developer can do what we intend to do in developing the potential of the estate for the local community, and preserving the heritage.
Luckily for us the selling agents are struggling to find a buyer. “We’re in it for the long haul,” says the 1st charge holder, HSBC. However, they’ll just have to wait till a new developer comes along, and as we all know, developers are finding bank loans difficult to obtain at the current time, and the housing market is still struggling.
Advisers to the the last owners, the Taymouth Group, forecast an income of £128 million from selling time-shared accommodation around the estate at a time when the housing market was booming. It’s likely to be a long time before the housing market recovers enough to tempt bankers once more to fund a time share scheme. In the meantime the castle and estate continue to deteriorate.
The opportunity for the community to purchase Taymouth Castle Estate has been made possible by Part 2 of the Land Reform Act. Examples of this in action are now quite numerous across Scotland. There are well documented proceeures to follow, but local people have to express their voice and support.
So far, two general meetings have been held to engage and spread the word, and a Project Group has been identified. This group has met and proposes that an association is established to take the work forward. This will involve exploring initial ideas more fully, linking with local organisations to find what is needed and listening to what the community thinks should happen. We will need to commission a feasibility study pulling all the ideas together and, importantly, to work out how the estate would be purchased and financed.
Professionally produced reports of various kinds - investment proposals, environmental impact studies, landscape plans and a whole host of other documents are available for anyone to see at the Comment offices in Aberfeldy. There, Wordwright has agreed to collect information, receive phone calls and provide an Aberfeldy campaign office (OffiZone, 2 Kenmore Street, )
A bit of good news is that, as a result of community interest, the Chinese Bridge at Taymouth is open again. This is a mere drop in the ocean as compared with what we could do with the whole estate. Come and join us, share your knowledge and skills, and help make this project a success.
Call Cindy Brook- member of the project Group 01887 830293 or CLOAKING or Conrad Aldridge 01738 860767 CLOAKING

 

 

 

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