The Stables Management Committee is a small but perfectly formed committee consisting of Martin, Robin, Calli, Kerry, Clare, Elaine & Jon. The committee is a part of the registered charity Culross Development Trust (CDT) and Martin & Robin (our Chair & Treasurer) sit on the Board of Trustees of the CDT (SCIO036538)
The Stables is the only community building in Culross.
So many groups benefit from this community space in so many different ways - from Toddlers sessions and Young Seniors’ weekly coffee & chat drop-ins - to weddings, ceilidhs, comedy nights, quizzes, community meals, artisan markets and so much more. In short, The Stables plays a vital role in keeping our community connected, across all generations.
Throughout lockdown, when the building was closed to the public, it was the centre of our community response to Covid-19, with weekly Fruit & Veg Bag deliveries sorted in the open air courtyard and delivered by volunteers to people's front doors. Hot meals-on-wheels delivery quickly followed to all our over 70s, those shielding and other vulnerable residents, along with the delivery of a Turkey Feast for the Young Seniors missing out on their annual Christmas Party, and a Haggis Feast for Burns Day in January 2021. Without this community space and its kitchen facilities, none of this would have been possible.
After this pandemic, we need to reconnect with each other. A return of weekly sessions and organised community events will aid in tackling social isolation and help us all to reclaim our wellbeing and community spirit. Like every community and age group, we need to recover from the stress of lockdowns and more than a year of Covid upheaval. We hope to unite our lovely community, and those who love Culross, behind the common cause of creating a better facility that can serve the community now, and for all future generations.
Take a peek at the videos and photographs below which you may find amusing - can you spot yourself or somebody you know in the crowd?
Well, here’s a brief history to help paint a picture……..
The Stables was gifted to the children of the village by the Cunninghame Family in the 1960s, when a young local group called the Fellowship came together to refurbish the building and learned their future trades. Since then it has been a youth club (affectionately known as "the Youthy” by many generations), the venue for many Gala Dances, Culross Festivals and fundraisers for all groups and committees in the village. It also serves the wider community of the West Fife Villages including Balgownie, Low Valleyfield and Shiresmill.
In more recent years, The Stables has hosted a huge array of fundraising events, as well as various private functions, but whilst the building has always been at the heart of all things local, its use by the wider community was occasional and ad hoc. Committed to changing this, in 2018, the Management Committee conducted a Community Consultation and a 6-phase plan was created to transform it into a fit-for-purpose, multi-functional facility with wider appeal. (You can find more details on the planned phases below).
Like many other small, rural communities, Culross suffers from a lack of local amenities. It has seen the closure of its only village shop and post office and in 2019, the only other community space available for use, The Stephen Memorial Hall, also closed. Hence, The Stables became the only place where the community can gather and access services led by the community.
Feedback from the Community Consultation showed that although The Stables is a very valued community asset, it was deemed by our residents and user groups to be ‘cold, damp, dingy and unwelcoming’ - with limited and out-dated facilities. And whilst some temporary fixes were able to be put in place to allow continued use, there was a clear need and desire for the building to be properly refurbished and modernised.
The total cost for the building upgrade is in the region of £130,000, much of which has been covered by various sources of funding (details can be found further down the page). But we still need further support to ensure we can deliver the finishing touches that we all deserve in such a valued community venue.
We need you to donate. Just now, we realise that financially times are tough, so we only ask for as much as you can afford. If you have big pockets, dig deep. If you are struggling, give what you can - every pound will help us reach our target.
Rewards - we’ve added some rewards, including sponsorship opportunities for those interested in making a more permanent contribution. Take a look and select your favourite!
Donations - or you can simply click ‘Donate’ and enter an amount of your own choosing (and don’t forget to tick Gift Aid!)
(N.B. tipping is optional when you pledge or donate).
Spread the word - the Crowdfunder platform allows us the chance to make connections with people who love Culross - residents, neighbours, friends, former residents, and our many visitors - everybody who wants to see The Stables and the community continue to flourish. Please help us by sharing it with all your friends, family and acquaintances - you can even use the social media icons on this page.
Help us to show our previous and prospective funders that the transformation of The Stables matters to the vibrant community it serves. We estimate that we need to raise over £12,500 within the next six weeks to demonstrate our community's support for the refurbishment, so that the building will be ready for when activities are permitted to resume once again. It’s within our reach now and we need your help to make this dream community hub a reality.
Here's some of the inspirational drawings, plans and design ideas from Elaine at Home2bChic who has performed an amazing job helping plan and design the building for the community. The illustrations here will give you an idea of how the building could look within a few months time.
If you know and love the Stables, or have been a beneficiary of the many events there and already realise its value, there is no need for you to read on - just click on the donate button, give as much as you can and follow the transformation on Facebook. For those who would like to know a little more about Culross, our plans for The Stables and our progress so far, please read on.
Steeped in history, Culross is a picturesque village in the West of Fife. Thousands of people flock here every year to visit the NTS-run Culross Palace, walk along the Fife Coastal Path, Fife Pilgrim Way and take photographs of the beautiful architecture that surrounds us. As well as being a great tourist attraction, Culross is home to about 500 people, with around 200 living nearby in outlying farms and the neighbouring hamlet, Low Valleyfield. But despite all of its undoubted attractions, the area is still a small community that suffers from a lack of amenity and poor public transport to access services elsewhere.
The community who live locally covers a whole spectrum of ages, ranging from young families to elderly members and it’s important that we have a range of activities available that benefit the wellbeing of everyone. As a committee, we try to promote inclusivity, tackle social isolation and strengthen resilience in our community. As a result, The Stables is host to a wide variety of classes and activities, including a toddlers group, young seniors club, pilates, yoga, chair yoga, band practice and mindfulness classes. It even serves as our polling station!
Our initial funding target was approximately £130,000. Thus far we have received in the region of £91,000 from the following sources, supporters and partners:
- Awards for All £9,950
- Common Good £8,000
- Community Asset And Climate Fund £10,000
- Coop Local Community Fund £1,987
- Culross CC £803
- Fife Council (Covid 19) £10,000
- Fife Council Settlement Fund £1,116
- Festival Committee £5,068
- Fife Environmental Trust £37,182
- Martha Thompson Fund £5,068
- Roy McCormack Memorial Fund £1,822
- Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Stephens The Bakers, EATS Rosyth & STV Covid Fund- these organisations provided small pots of funding to get our Meals-on-Wheels & Fruit Bag deliveries on the road.
Indeed, our Chief Form Fillers have been extremely busy getting us to this point. And we need to thank all of the organisations and groups who have supported us along the way.
We have recently submitted an application to Fife Environmental Trust (FET) to secure an additional £23,305 and we have about £8,000 in the bank account to cover our contribution to complete the internal works. But this will leave us with no funds to really finish the building off in style and to the standard we think it should be for our community. The amount we raise with this crowdfunder will determine the standard of finishing - so dig deep!
This is our wish list of finishing touches that we need your help with:
- Stairlift - £500 - We have been lucky enough to be allocated a stairlift from a community building elsewhere in Fife that has recently closed. When we measured the west staircase we were amazed to find that it will fit in The Stables and make the upper-floor accessible to our Seniors and those who have previously felt unable to tackle the steep staircases. Whilst the stairlift is being gifted, we need to fund the removal, transportation and installation.
- New Gas Cooker - c.£1,200
- Cooker Hood & Extractor - c.£1,284 - With a new cooker and extractor the kitchen will be able to cook many feasts for community events/private hires. We struggled to cook a Christmas dinner for 45 in December with the existing cooker so if we want or need to do more in the future we need a professional cooker and the necessary extraction to comply with food and hygiene regulations.
- Paint & Decoration - c.£1,000 - Many pots of paint, varnish and stain will be needed.
- Taper & Plaster - £750 (£250 a day, for 3 days).
- New furniture for the kitchen area, window blinds and soft furnishings - c£2,850 (£1,500 for seating and tables, £650 for 13 made to measure blinds, £400 for soft furnishings, £300 for pots, plants, mirrors, picture frames).
- Cups & Saucers - £853 - 108 x 7oz Olympia Cups & Saucers.
- External Lighting & Power - £1,000 - 10 down-lighters plus necessary external cabling, plus installation.
- New Signage - c.£600 - so people approaching from the west or the east know where the building is.
- Shelving for the Community Storage Facility - c.£400 for wood to build the required shelving.
- Courtyard Make-Over - c.£1,000 - seating, flowers and planting.
- Anchor area Make-Over - c.£1,000 - black paint, planting and drop down benches for seating
- Alarm System - c.£400.00
The above 13 items come to around £12,840.
If we want to aim really high we could have the following luxury items:
- Bean to Cup Coffee Machine - c.£1,884 (our Seniors love a latte but we won't need the sachets if we have one of these!)
- Fridge c.£840 - for upstairs room and bar area.
- Glass Washer - c.£840 - this will be a very helpful addition to the bar area for community events and private hires
● Countertop Ice Machine - c.£240- a luxury every bar should have!
To include these luxury items, we need to raise £16,645.
The Stables redevelopment has six phases. Lots of positive steps have taken place over the last few years, especially during 2020; already Phase 3 is fully-funded and (nearly) completed. We want to be in a position to complete Phases 4, 5 and 6 within the next few months, and depending on our application to FET, this would hopefully enable us to have a grand re-opening in September 2021.
COMPLETED: Phase 1- External Works. Cost £40,750. Fife Environmental Trust (FET) provided £37,182 towards the repair and renewal of slate roof, skews, flashings, ridges, gutters and downpipes. Removed all external cement harling, repaired broken sandstone and repointed the building with lime cement. This work was essential to ensure that the building was watertight, so any further internal alterations could not be jeopardised.
The building is now weather-proof, looks very pleasing on the eye and is more in keeping with its surroundings. We also built the Community Storage Facility in the courtyard with £10,000 from The National Lottery Award for All which has resolved storage issues for all user groups and community organisations, with enough space for any new groups that may develop.
Here's the link to our Youtube video showing the Phase 1 developments taking place and the finished results.
COMPLETED: Phase 2 - Start of internal remedial repairs and improvements. The downstairs has been reconfigured, layout and doorways have been moved to improve accessibility, internal walls have been insulated and lined to make it cosy and warm, and a new modernised kitchen with commercial grade appliances has been installed. Funding for the new kitchen was received from the Coop Local Community Fund, Fife Council's Settlement Fund and other Covid funding. With the exception of the necessary extraction, the kitchen will enable us to meet current food hygiene standards so we are able to continue with community meals and provide a more usable space for all hirers.
Here's the link to our Youtube Video showing the changes during Phase 2
NEARLY DONE: Phase 3 - Purchase and installation of new windows and doors. We were awarded £10,000 in October 2020 from the Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF) for the windows and doors, which were ordered and paid for but due to the most recent lockdown delivery had been delayed. I am pleased to announce that the window have been installed and the doors will be fitted soon. The Roy McCormack Memorial Fund has paid for the new gates, which have been designed and should be fitted very soon.
These were the gates for a fitting last week:
We need over £30,000 to complete the next three phases which included the toilets, reception area, stairways, insulation and flooring throughout. We have submitted an application to Fife Environmental Trust (FET) and hope to be awarded the maximum £23,305 (the 75% maximum allowed) to complete the necessary works. We should receive a decision on our application by the end of May 2021 and are hopeful that we will be successful. If we are able to secure the funding from FET, we will need 25% of the £31,073 (£7,768) of our own fundraising contribution towards the works. I am delighted to confirm that we have this money sitting in the bank account from the Martha Thompson Fund and other fundraising. If we are unsuccessful with FET, we will use whatever we raise in the Crowdfunder to apply for other match-funding; it may take longer to achieve our finished building but we can do this if necessary.
Phases 4, 5 and 6 in a bit more detail:
Phase 4 - toilets to be relocated, reconfigured and redesigned to make better use of the space and allow showers to be installed. A welcoming waiting area will be created in the former reception area. (Projected to be in June 2021).
Phase 5 - new wooden flooring throughout the downstairs (Projected to be in June/July 2021).
Phase 6 - Upstairs finishing touches - roof to be insulated and new wooden flooring throughout (Projected to be in July/August 2021).
As you can see, we have made a start to our transformation - we have made the building watertight, reconfigured and renovated the community owned hall to make it a more multi-functional space, and we have firm plans for the next phases. But we need your help to make it a reality.
Rest assured, every single penny and pound will be spent on the building and its contents so please give as much as you can. If we smash our £12,500 target we will be able to purchase the luxury items above. All of us have missed out on so much during lockdown, and we have lots of community events to organise so we can reconnect and laugh with each other again. The finished project will strengthen our local community, reduce social isolation for all age groups and enable people to have a better quality of life in a post pandemic world. We will all benefit from everything the building will offer long into the future.
The Stables Committee are on social media (we usually share our posts on the other Culross pages but we would love you to follow our own Facebook page) www.facebook.com/TheStablesCulross or just put "Stables Culross" in the Facebook search-box to find us.
We also put regular updates in the village email to keep everyone informed (if you'd like to be added to that distribution list, email us at [email protected] and we'll pass your details on).
If you have any questions about the building, our plans for the refurbishment or the crowdfunder itself, please don't hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected] or send us a private message via our Facebook page. We realise some of our residents are not on Facebook or online but there will be a leaflet drop to ensure everybody feels included and it is a true community effort to reach our target. If you donate, don't forget to spread the word, leave us a comment and encourage others to support this project. If you would prefer not to use this website but would like to make a donation, please email us or contact Martin on 07880 554 364 or Clare 07799 065 351 and we will let you know how that can be done.
As a part of this process, we have applied for extra funding from Crowdfund Fife. Once we receive a percentage of our £12,500 target from 25 individual donors we will be considered for up to an additional £2,000 to help us.
If you work for a Company or Organisation, ask if they have a Social Responsibility Budget to support local projects and whether they would consider supporting the Stables.
We have everything crossed that we are successful in our application to FET and that we smash our crowdfunding target. We look forward to a busy summer completing the works and being able to reconnect with you, in a beautiful multi-functional building, very soon.
If you managed to read this to the end, well done! Donate, and then have a lie down! A huge thanks in advance for your support.
We want to make the Stables a Home from Home in the heart of our community. Together, we can do this.