Here’s to 2019

Happy New Year everyone.

Just to keep you up to date; we have now put in our bid for funding for the development/ planning work. We’ll let you know the results as and when.

Over the next couple of weeks we are  having meetings with Highland Council, Care and Learning Alliance and the Care Commission to talk about the trial provision of a child care facility at the NMP. This is over and above our longer term aim but it will fab to have something happening.

What do you think about other events this year? Let us know….. Easter is not far away!

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Merry Christmas.

It’s nearly the end of an eventful year for the Park and 2019 looks set to be busy as well.

Hopefully, money permitting, we will be having a feasibility study done, preparing a 5 year business plan and having initial architectural reports and surveys completed. If all goes to plan then we hope to have this work done by Spring. This will inform us as to whether our ideas are realistic and sustainable. If they are and it is, then the next step will be to apply, for the acquisition of the Park, to the Highland Council.

So, there’s still a mountain of work to be done.

If  you think that you could help share the work load, please contact us

We would love to hear from you.

In the mean time, have great Christmas and New Year and be kind to one another

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Trustees wanted

We have two Trustee positions available on our board and are looking for people who live in one of the following Community Council Areas to fill them.

  • Dalneigh and Columba
  • Park
  • Ballifeary

It’s a great opportunity to do something with and for your community by bringing the Northern Meeting Park back to life.

INTERESTED? Then get in touch via this link and we’ll send you details or arrange a chat.

 

 

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Activeness supports the Northern Meeting Park Group

A funny old week

Well, it’s Friday and to be honest I feel that, despite spending most of the week either on my laptop or the phone, we haven’t made much progress.

It started last Thursday, in fact, when I contacted a Chartered Surveyor about getting the Park valued.  He spent 25 mins talking about the NMP and the complexities of valuing it.

“Good stuff” I thought.

“I’ll get back to you with a quote to do the valuation tomorrow”

“Great” I thought. Well, that didn’t happen so I messaged him on Monday.

“Been busy, sorry. Get back to you by close of play Tuesday”

“Mmmm”, I thought… and here we are on Friday!

Now that’s disappointing enough but whilst I was waiting for him to not get back to me I tried 4 more Chartered Surveyors: of the 4, three thought it was too complex to do and the forth I’m still waiting for a call despite 3 emails and 2 phone calls.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!

Anyway, rant over. Today is the closing date for the bids to do the feasibility study and business plan and I am pleased – and relieved after the above experiences – that we have received three quotations. The board will now need to decide which one we would like to carry out the work and then apply for the funding. I’ll let you know as soon as we’ve agreed.

Ali Macrae has been on a “Community Shares” Workshop and we’ll get some information out to you shortly.

We are still waiting for some feedback on our SCIO constitution from DTAS (Development Trust Association Scotland) and it will be next Wednesday when we get that.

Finally,

Have you signed up for membership yet? If not, click on this link and get on board. Its FREE and there’s no commitment to do anything BUT it will show your support for getting the Park open and used.

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“Are you a member of the Northern Meeting Park yet, Donald?”

So far……..So good: Part 2

So, we’ve made loads of contacts and friends.

In order to test whether people would use the park if the gates were opened we had a two week trial opening at the beginning of June. Some of you might have popped in for a picnic or a quiet sit down and read or to hold a meeting or to have a pipe band practice or just to take the scenic route to work and it was great to see so many people coming and going – well over 1000  in fact. We gathered loads of useful information which said an unequivocal YES you want it open and you backed up what came out of our public meeting in January.

We are now applying for charitable status – SCIO – which will mean a new, beefed -up constitution. This has now been written and will be agreed and incorporated very soon. That will be sent off with our SCIO application and hopefully the charitable status should follow. Watch this space.

Along side this we are applying for funding to carry out the next phase of the plan…… research in to exactly what we are taking on and the viability of our ideas. This will be in the form of a Feasibility Study, Technical surveys, Valuation and the production of a Business Plan. We are applying to the Scottish Land Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund in the first instance and have to thank HIE, Impact Hub, DTAS and AHF for their support at this stage.

Well, that’s where we are at. Needless to say we’ll keep you updated with how we get on and we’ll put our new constitution on the site as soon as it has been ratified.

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Christmas is Coming

Our NMPG Christmas tree is on display within the Cathedral. There are lots of community groups who have trees on show including Women’s Aid, Street Pastors , Ballifeary Community Council and Marie Curie. The public can view them in the Cathedral from  Friday 30/11.

We themed the tree around our vision for The Northern Meeting Park which includes decorations depicting peace, tranquillity, child care and tourist events to name a few.

Thanks to Cris, Nicola and Helen for getting this organised and to Nicola for the photos and blog

So far……. so good: Part 1

Here we are, on the eve of December; less than 4 weeks to Christmas and then get ready for 2019. So, it seems right to use our first couple of blogs to bring everyone up to date with what’s been going on and where we are.

I’ll try and keep it short and just give key points – those that know me would be rolling their eyes if they could see me writing this!!

So, at the end of April this year we formed a group called the Northern Meeting Park Group and started work on developing our Constitution and setting up a bank account. This meant that we could start looking for funding to help with development work such as community engagement.

Whilst this was going on we were busy attending workshops and meetings which built our knowledge and understanding of the Community Asset Transfer process. We owe a great deal to staff at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS), Community Ownership Support Service (COSS), Impact Hub (Inverness), Highland Council  – all of whom have given time and shown patience to us as “first timers”