Our vision is to repurpose our wonderful old school into a Community Led Visitor Centre, run as a social enterprise for the benefit of many. We’re well on the way to making it happen but we need your help for the final stages.
In the Spring of 2021, the Trossachs Community Trust completed the purchase of the village school in Brig o' Turk, near Callander. With an ever decreasing pupil population, and no signs of an increase, the school was closed in 2016 and lay unused for nearly five years. But with so much history, and having played such a central role in many people’s lives, the community felt there had to be an alternative to having this beautiful C-listed building lie empty - so we set about investigating our options.
After two years of hard work and negotiations, we managed to secure an asset transfer of the schoolhouse into community ownership, backed by the Scottish Land Fund. Now we’re looking to create a visitor and heritage centre, with a cafe and shop running alongside it.
Benefits for many
Once the building has been repurposed, it will become a not-for-profit, self-financing subsidiary of the Trossachs Community Trust. As a social enterprise, the key focus will be creating opportunities and benefits for the community but being positioned as it is within Brig o' Turk, the new centre will draw custom from both local residents and visitors alike, providing a much needed resource in our rural village.
As well as protecting an important listed community building, below are some of the key benefits it will deliver to the community, our visitors and the environment:
For the community
- Creation of a minimum of 3 x full time local jobs paying at least the Scottish living wage
- Apprenticeship training and skills development
- Sales outlet for local produce, arts & crafts
- An informal meeting place for local groups
- A chance to interact with visitors
- An emergency supplies shop thereby reducing car journeys and the resultant carbon footprint of the community
- Community Post Office & courier delivery/pick up point
- Surplus income ploughed back into community projects
- Shop featuring locally produced arts & crafts and artisan foods
- Education via heritage displays
- A chance to interact with local residents
- Toilet facilities
For the environment
- Carbon footprint reduction of the community
- Heating via biomass
- Electric PV generation (solar panels)
- Electric car charging point (three phase)
- Leading by example
The building plans
There is much building work to be completed in order to bring this Victorian building into the 21st century, at the same time as preserving its history. As a listed building, all work needs to be undertaken in a way that is sympathetic to its style and as such, we have already begun to engage with relevant professionals to assess the requirements.
A previously hidden fireplace has already been discovered and a few more surprises are anticipated as the project evolves, but the main tasks at hand will be:
- general repairs of wear and tear from use as a school
- rewiring and plumbing the old school for its new life (with heating!)
- adult sizing the toilets
- creation of the kitchen and shop
- creation of a heritage area and displays
- furnishing the cafe area
- construction of a new road entrance and car park
How can you help us?
We need your help to raise the funds so we can complete this brilliant venture. As previously mentioned, we have received a substantial amount of funding towards our project but we need the help of those around us, and our supportive visitors, to help fill the funding gap that still remains.
So we ask that you donate what you can using the ‘Donate’ button and entering an amount of your own choosing.
Or perhaps you would like to pledge on one of a variety of rewards that we have put together especially for this crowdfunder, some of which are wholly exclusive and not available elsewhere. We’ve put details of some of the rewards below, so take a look and then pledge on whichever one you like.
For our part, we pledge to use your money wisely and do not ask you lightly. We thank you for your generosity, and ask that even if you can’t help financially, that you share our project with your friends and family - it would be hugely appreciated and help us to get the word out about our plans.
Here's a sneak preview of some of our rewards to whet your appetite. Some of them have limited availability, so be quick - when they're gone, they're gone!!
Record your generosity in our Donor's Wall (image for example purposes only)
Get your hands on one of our exclusive cotton tote bags with the Old Trossachs School logo. (The mug will have the same logo on it but no preview image is available)
Have this unique and one-off piece of artwork created especially for this crowdfund, courtesy of Sarah Hatton of Truly Trossachs
Enhance one of your windows with a one-off piece of stained glass created especially for you, courtesy of Eila Rodnight (image for example purposes only)
Treat yourself to a print of this fine photograph by local professional photographer, Tudor Amot, to remember a great day out in the Trossachs.
Or you could take us up on one of our limited availability experience rewards:-
- an exclusive tour of a goat farm (with complementary ice cream!), or
- a guided cycle tour of the Trossachs
Follow our progress
We want to keep our whole community informed of what’s happening with the Old Trossachs School project, and have already created a website with a regular blog, alongside our Facebook page. If you would like to stay up to date with our progress, please join our Facebook group @oldtrossachsschool.
Or if you think there is any way you could support and help our project outside this crowdfunder, please feel free to contact us via Facebook.