In spite of the weather on the 28th of January the CCLP had our site visit (as part of our stage 2 bid) from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF). We started at the Community Hub in Ochiltree with short presentations from Sir James MacMillan (Cumnock Tryst) on the ‘Musical Celebration of the Coalfields’ project followed by Bruce Davidson (East Ayrshire Woodlands) talking about the ‘Land Management Apprentice’ project and Daisy Whytock (East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative) presenting on the ‘Perfect Peatlands’, Coalfield for Pollinators’ and Healthy East Ayrshire Rivers’ project.
We then took a short mini bus tour to Netherthird Community Garden (via Skares) where Jamie Campbell (Netherthird Community Action Training) talked about the ‘Hedge Row Habitats’ and we had a walk around the garden and saw the great work that is going on.
We then took the mini bus to Lugar Parish Church where we were introduced to the ‘Lugar Heritage Centre’ project by Mrs Marion Wylie, Rev John Paterson and Mrs Isabel Campbell.
The Parish Church has a very interesting history. The building was built by Baird & Co as part of the steel factory which was once on the site where the church now is. It was built as an engine room where the railway engines, used to transport the steel from Lugar to its destination, were inspected and maintained. When the steel factory moved the building was gifted to the people of Lugar to enable the workers in the factory and the residents of Lugar to worship. It has been a place of worship, now maintained under the auspices of the Church of Scotland, for 152 years.
We then returned to Ochiltree for lunch and a question and answer session. We had a good attendance from our enthusiastic and passionate project partners and all felt the visit went well.
The NLHF visitors found the visit very useful and have thanked all the partners for coming along and making their trip to East Ayrshire an enjoyable and worthwhile visit.
Further information about the CCLP can be found on our website www.coalfieldcommunities.co.uk
Fingers crossed for a positive result when the NLHF committee meet on 5th March2020.