The former Victoria Primary School site IS going to be the Heart of Newhaven Community.
The Heart of Newhaven (HoN) will be a brand new intergenerational centre for the whole community to enjoy. The Scottish Land Fund (SLF) has awarded us £792,000 and we were given permission to purchase the site.
Victoria Primary School has moved to a new building on a different site and we will be taking over the building SOON.
You helped us once before. We ran a successful Crowdfunder campaign in February last year, to help us cover sundry start-up costs including legal and architect fees. You gave generously, over £6,000 including Gift Aid, and thank you for that.
That helped us move forward. Now we need more help.
With the keys to the site almost within our grasp, we need you, the community, to step forward once again and help us with some very practical issues, so that we can open the doors for immediate use.
We’re creating the Heart for the community and we need the community to support the project in every way they can, especially at this crucial stage. Do please give as generously as you feel able and help us open the doors and get moving.
We will have the building soon but now we need YOUR help to refurbish, furnish and heat it and get it properly up and running, while we build sustainable fundraising and other income.
Communications: old school bells may be quaint, but we need to upgrade the communications network to make it fit for purpose for the digital age.
Outdoors: there's a lot to do and the outdoor space needs to be properly landscaped and there are plans afoot for a sensory garden and perhaps even a community vegetable patch. We’ll also be planting the trees we promised in our first Crowdfunder.
What will be at the Heart of Newhaven?
We consulted with the community to find out what they want. We will focus on three main themes, based on the challenges identified by the community:
1. Learning and Enterprise
An Early Years Centre in the ‘Anchor Building’ will support the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) targets for provision of pre-school childcare and is an important and valuable contribution to the economic development of Newhaven and to child and family learning.
The provision of artists’ studios and co-working spaces will support social enterprise, training in high
Tech, and creative, sectors. Demand for such space far outstrips supply and we are confident that the nurturing ethos we are striving to offer will be an effective incubator for successful businesses of the future.
In addition, we are working in partnership with existing local businesses to maximise the potential benefits of tourism. This will link to our Heritage and Culture theme and build on an existing relationship with Cruise Forth/Forth Ports.
The atrium with its wonderful Victorian metalwork will once more become a central meeting point as well as an exhibition space.
The sharing of knowledge and skills between generations through intergenerational practice is a key way to address local issues and is supported by the community and partners.
We aim to develop, in partnership with local agencies, a multi-generational centre that could be used by all generations for social, creative activities that would in turn support health and wellbeing, such as combatting loneliness and isolation, offering opportunities to increase physical activity and improving access to health and support services.
3. Culture and Heritage
A museum reflecting the heritage of Newhaven including the relocation of ‘The Victorian Classroom’ with its collection of artefacts representing the history of education. This collaborative partnership approach will also be supported by Victoria Primary School, Men’s Shed Leith plus the environmental projects: Edinburgh Shoreline and Restoration Forth.
Once inside, with the keys finally in our hands, there is a mountain of work to be done: many of the windows need refurbished; the whole place needs a coat of paint and many areas need re-plastering. More immediately, there is basic cleaning and tidying to be carried out.
Empty spaces: think how vibrant and exciting these empty rooms will become, with a little help from the community who will be using them well into the future. The old school gymnasium will be the ideal space for community gatherings and celebrations as well as musical and dramatic performances. Some of the more modern classrooms will hopefully soon be ringing to the excited voices of children at play and intergenerational activities, while the older classrooms on the first floor will house an innovative culture and heritage suite featuring local exhibits and displays of life from the time the school was first built.
Some of the initial costs to get the Heart up and running include:
· lighting costs - while we aim to be as eco-friendly as possible, there will need to be some lighting
· heating costs - it's a large Victorian building and while we aim to be as carbon-neutral as possible, there are costs involved
· window repairs - some windows need replaced, others need refurbishing
· roof repairs - a recent survey showed that while it might be a better state than we had anticipated, there are still some areas that need urgent repairs
· kitchen equipment - we aim to have a cafe up and running very quickly, even if it's not in its final form. For this, we will need everything from kettles and cups and saucers to tables and chairs
The old school canteen can be turned into a welcoming community cafe, a hub for formal and informal meetings.
· health and safety costs - we need to install adequate signage, fire equipment, fire escapes etc.
We’ve set up a SCIO (a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation), The Heart of Newhaven Community SCIO SCO49919. We have an initial board of trustees and members who will take the decisions moving into the future.
You can find out more how you could get involved on our website: www.heartofnewhaven.co.uk