A new modern community museum in Strathaven
Local group ‘The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust’ are launching a bid for a new and permanent home in Strathaven. The Museum will showcase the town’s story, its community life and history, housing permanent and touring collections as well as offering a range of learning opportunities and events for locals and visitors. The vision is also to include space for Community Activities.
In 1916, John Hastie, a local merchant, funded in his will a museum for the people of Strathaven which over time amassed an archive of thousands of items. The building was an important feature in the town until 2011 when the Council-owned building was sold to a private developer.
Far from giving up, a group of local volunteers formed The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust, a charity which aims to keep the story of Strathaven alive and add to the collection of artefacts. The group has big ambitions to create an innovative ‘community owned’ museum, fit for the 21st Century. They have been searching for a new home to make this idea a reality and after rejecting a number of possibilities, have set their sights on the Ballgreen Hall & ex-Library Complex, Glasgow Road, Strathaven.
The Hall has been empty since 2018 and could be transferred to community ownership, led by the Trust, through the Community Empowerment Act. The legislation enables local groups to take over unused buildings to make better use of them, for the benefit of a local area.
Chair of The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust, Gordon McAllan, said “This building will have a new future, providing the Community Museum we plan, along with other community facilities which meet the needs and aspirations of the Strathaven and Avondale community – and the revenue necessary to achieve our goal.”
To help develop their plans, we, Community Enterprise Ltd, a community development specialist, have been appointed to look at the feasibility of this idea. Work is now under way and The Trust is calling for all local residents and organisations in and around Strathaven to give their views about the project and how it could contribute to a better Strathaven and Avondale for all.
A series of virtual consultation events will be taking place over the next 8 weeks and an online survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Ballgreen_Hall_Community_Survey If you would like to get involved in any of the online consultation events, please contact Douglas Westwater at firstname.lastname@example.org.