Impact of COVID-19 Revises Trust’s Plans

THE STRATHAVEN John Hastie Museum Trust (SJHMT) has been pursuing a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of the Ballgreen Hall in its drive to set up a museum and community facilities for Strathaven.  It is therefore disappointed to report that, despite vigorous efforts by its funding team and its consultants since July 2020, and as a result of many funds being closed or diverted to respond to the Covid 19 Emergency, to date the Trust is unable to identify sufficient available funding streams.  

Its aim was to purchase, make safe, renovate and adapt the Ballgreen Hall and ex-Library Facility so being  unable to engage with potential funding bodies to secure confirmation of when suitable funds will be available or the likely magnitude of Grant Funding means the plans for a community asset transfer cannot proceed at this time.

Continual constructive dialogue with South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) has taken place throughout the CAT Process with the process being mutually paused to allow the Trust further time, in the expectation of the re-opening of Grant Funding which would allow Funding for the full proposal to be identified. 

Regrettably, this has not occurred. Consequently, the SJHMT Board of Trustees met using “Zoom” on Monday 8 February and after much deliberation unanimously decided to withdraw their CAT Application for the Ballgreen Hall and ex-Library Facility.

The Trust’s Chairperson, Gordon McAllan, commented. “Whilst our Trustees are very disappointed to have felt it necessary to make this decision, this action enables the Trust to revisit its plan to secure a permanent Modern Volunteer-Run Community Museum and ensure that the facilities offered within both the Museum element and those for use by the Communities of Strathaven and Avondale, fully align with the needs of the Community as we emerge from the Covid-19 Emergency and enter the much-cited “New Norm”, whatever that may be. Our search and determination to find and secure a permanent home with Community Facilities continues undiminished. I wish to take this opportunity to extend my and the Board of Trustees.  Thanks also to all those who have assisted in our mission to date and particularly to SLC for their help and support”.

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