Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Building Blocks

People ask us every day what our plans are for the Dutch Gable House and The Back House. For now, most of that is about running really excellent cultural projects and events from our interesting and bohemian wee space, but over the last few months in particular, we have also been able to focus on some of the longer term structural plans for the building.

Obviously, the house is a listed building in a conservation area, it's no mean task to make it all fit together.  So we've been very glad to have Dominic Quigley (of Quigley Architects) in working with us on plans for the next few stages of the renovation. Dominic has a real interest in heritage himself, and also runs 6Art, a smashing gallery based in George Square, Greenock - well worth a wee visit.

So, if you are interested in what's buzzing around our heads at the moment, well, we're currently looking for funding to tidy up the front of The Dutch Gable House itself (just a wee lick of paint and some work on the windows), get some work done in the lovely bumpy courtyard and of course to begin the proper renovation and restoration of the Back House into a new community space for learning and exhibiting. With the Back House, we want to make the space feel new and interesting while not losing the character thats kept it alive these last 250 years. We're also exploring options for a new community studio on the top floor of Dutch Gable

The Back House pipes don't enjoy rainy days...
These things take time, and in some instances we'll be way into next year before we have decisions on some of the projects we have planned. Its also very likely we'll be looking at other more direct forms of fundraising to undertake works which will need doing before winter. Naturally it's challenging to still have projects running in the building when it's not quite "done" yet, but it's also really important to us that the space feels alive and useful.

We've also been lucky enough to get involved with the excellent new Building Resources Investment and Community Knowledge programme from Princes Trust, a new programme specifically designed to help communities all across the UK use community heritage assets effectively.

We'll keep you posted here on the blog on how its all going, and hopefully be able to share more detail with you on a display during this years Doors Open Day in September. Meantime you can hopefully enjoy some of the other projects and events we have on offer throughout the summer.

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