Bigton Kirk - Community Ownership

by Bigton Collective in Shetland, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom

We did it
On 1st November 2021 we successfully raised £3,260 with 62 supporters in 28 days

Our aim is to secure community ownership of the Bigton Kirk.

by Bigton Collective in Shetland, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Extra funding would enable us to move forward with our plans and into the renovation stage much more quickly. It would also increase our capacity to be able to deliver creative activities. 

Help secure the Bigton Kirk for the future

The Bigton Kirk is an important and treasured part of our community. Many weddings, funerals and important events have taken place in the Kirk and many of us have strong family or sentimental ties to the building.

We are a well-connected community and take pride in our warm and welcoming community spirit. Bigton folk don't take the privilege of living in such a beautiful location for granted and we are keen to take responsibility for looking after our assets! We would love to have the opportunity to take ownership of this wonderful building which is such an important part of our heritage - and to open the doors to new possibilities for the Kirk. 

Our progress

We've worked extremely hard over the past year to gather everyone's ideas for the future of the Kirk, to develop plans and to establish Bigton Collective as a social enterprise. We are so excited to finally get this project underway. 

Funded by the Scottish Land Fund, our feasibility study has come out strongly in favour of community ownership. The structural survey by CASE Shetland has shown that the building is in good condition and with the help of Community Enterprise, we have developed a strong, sustainable business plan which incorporates hostel accommodation, café facilities with flexible working and community spaces. We believe we have a core team of dedicated people (ever growing) and we are ideally placed to generate a hub of activity in Bigton alongside our community hall.

With support from the Architectural Heritage Fund we have been able to work with the fabulous Malcolmson's architects who have drawn up exciting plans; the initial sketches honour the heritage of the building and allow it to still be used for wedding, funerals and performances but also offer truly accessible facilities and accommodation for people with additional needs.

Thanks to the Bigton Community Hall and all our volunteers, we've been able to test-run a community exhibition this summer which demonstrated the wealth of creative energy in Bigton and the potential for future exhibitions in the Kirk.  


Bigton Collective is now a Limited Company and we hope to apply for charitable status as soon as possible. We invite everyone who lives in the Bigton area to become a member of Bigton Collective if you are not already. Anyone living out-with Bigton can become an associate member and under-16s can become junior members. Register here

Next steps

We would be SO grateful for your help to raise the extra money needed to match our funding proposal to purchase the building. In the next few months we hope to acquire the church, recruit a development officer and start to use the building for community activities: performances, pop up café, temporary charity shop, creative group work and flexible working space, in addition to the building being available for ceremonies. 

We hope to continue to work with Malcolmson's architects to develop the design in more detail and to develop a long-term funding strategy for the renovation. 

The valuation price of the Kirk is £68,000. To meet the capital costs and match our Scottish Land Fund application we still need to raise £2,800.


We also have seed-funding secured (through the Launch Me Scheme) which will help us to scale up our activities and get established in the Kirk. However, this funding cannot be used to purchase the building. 

Please consider helping us reach our target. This is such a worthwhile project for the future sustainability of our community. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Pledge £20 and receive a Bigton Collective Birthday Calendar as a thank you - a high quality, stylish Bigton Collective birthday calendar to record all the important dates in your life - featuring art work and photographs from the Bigton Community. Would also make a great Christmas Present :)

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