UPDATE: TENANTS’ FORUM/CRICHTON BRIEFING 28 APRIL 2021
24 May 2021
We held our monthly Tenants’ Forum on Zoom on 28 April. Thanks to all those who attended.
MONTHLY UPDATE: Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust welcomed tenants and partners to the meeting including Clair McFarlan who will provide an insight into the work of the Solway Firth Partnership. Main points of update:
- Easterbrook Bistro: We are pleased to have extended our service times in Easterbrook Bistro which from this week includes inside and outside dining. The swimming pool is currently being refurbished and we will provide an update regarding the reopening of the pool when restrictions ease.
- Easterbrook Hall: Easterbrook Hall is still closed and other than for occasional use, there is unlikely to be any significant change or events in Easterbrook Hall until the Autumn at the earliest (pending restrictions and guidance re ventilation).
- Outdoor Events: We can be more optimistic about the use of our outdoor spaces. The Crichton Tree Trail was popular over the Easter holidays and we are working with event organisers and promoters re the guidance and best practice for outdoor events. We are looking forward to the Doonhame Festival in July and other outdoor theatre shows and events throughout the summer.
- The Crichton Magazine: The Crichton Magazine continues to be a great way to access news and information about the Crichton. Our fourth issue is already accessible on the website and includes information about business and academic partners as well as information for visitors.
The Crichton Trust Direction of Travel: As an organisation we continue to focus on the wellbeing of our people, place, partners and planet and in building a healthier and sustainable future. Our key priorities include addressing; the ageing society, carbon reduction and the future economy. Our tenants are important in shaping the future of The Crichton and income from rent etc helps to develop and maintain the estate.
- Crichton Central: We have been working on Crichton Central for over a year now, but we are on the final stretch! All going to plan with final works and restrictions, we will have a phased opening of the venue starting with the café and outdoor terrace which is also a licensed bar with a pizza oven! This is the area most of you will remember as Fresco Café. There will be a self-service area for pre-packaged sandwiches and snacks and a deli-counter for freshly prepared sandwiches, baked potatoes and pizzas. The large lounge areas to the front of the building is looking great and the furniture is starting to arrive – this will be an extension of the café space but is also a flexible space for live events and knowledge exchange activities and will be suitable for live streaming events out to a wider audience. To the back of the building you will find the co-working space with 24 hour access for members and connectors. The phased opening of the shared members area will take place as and when Government restrictions allow.
- SHAX/Merrick: The Crichton Trust is now working with SHAX, one of our existing tenants, to develop plans for a purpose built facility on site. They currently occupy the Merrick building on site which is no longer fit for purpose. Planning permission to demolish the building was granted around 10 years ago and we are now reviewing the future use of this space if SHAX is relocated to a new part of the site. One suggestion is to create The Crichton Centre for Memory and Wellbeing, which if it proceeds would be the new home for The Crichton Archive, which in turn could help us attain UNESCO Memory of the World status for The Crichton.
- Economic Impact Assessment: The Crichton Trust recently commissioned an Economic Impact Assessment and we would like to thank those tenants who took time to contribute to this. We will receive the reports in late May. We clearly see the need for an urgent whole system change at The Crichton and these findings will help us inform decisions and attract funding for future development.
- Ladyfield Site: We continue to work with Dumfries & Galloway Council and partners to review the future use of the Ladyfield site and how this will dovetail with our plans for The Crichton. This project has the potential to test out new ways of live and work by creating smart, adaptable homes that will change to suit our needs at different stages in our lives.
Clair McFarlan, Solway Firth Partnership
ZOOM IN ON OUR TENANTS/PARTNERS: Gwilym welcomed Clair McFarlan, Partnership Manager at the Solway Firth Partnership to the meeting to provide a Tenant’s Update.
Solway Firth Partnership Update:
Clair started by thanking Gwilym for the opportunity to provide an update.
Key points of interest:
- The Solway Firth Partnership (SFP) is currently based in Campbell House at The Crichton and has a remit to cover the whole of the D&G coastline, the Cumbria coast down to St Bees Head and Loch Ryan, which is known as the Solway Marine Region. SFP was established in 1994 and has been a long-standing tenant at The Crichton. SFP was part of Scottish Natural Heritage in Carmont House at that time. It later became part of Solway Heritage in Campbell House and in 2003 became an independent charity and relocated to the basement of Campbell House.
- SFP is led by a Board of Trustees and an advisory group representing both sides of the Solway and is partly core funded by Marine Scotland, local authorities in Cumbria and income generated from project fees.
- The core activities of the SFP include; partnerships, marine planning, environment, energy, fisheries and awareness raising activities.
- The SFP has a small team, Partnership Manager, Finance/Admin Officer and 3 Project Officers (1 FT/2 PT).
- As part of their remit to raise awareness of the coast, SFP produce a number of publications including walking guides, beach guides and exhibition panels.
- SFP manage a number of key projects including The Smile Project which aims to update the 1996 Review of the Solway Firth. This covers everything from marine planning, windfarms, renewable energy and seaweed harvesting. There was a soft launch of the review in February 2021 which is now online as a story map.
- There is a Scottish National Marine Plan and the hope is to develop Regional Marine Plans. Although there is not yet a D&G Solway plan, the findings from The Smile Project is good preparation for the development of a regional plan.
- The team at the SFP also organise stakeholder and community engagement events to encourage people to respect the coast.
- The team are also actively involved in addressing the challenges of marine litter and plastic pollution and in educating people on the impact of litter on the coast. The team have also used litter to initiate arts projects to further raise awareness of the scale of the problem. They also recruit volunteers to support litter picking projects have worked in a group trialling and encourage the recycling of plastic. The volume of litter and funding to deal with it appropriately is a real challenge.
- SFP also facilitate renewable energy research and engagement projects and help filter ideas for local initiatives.
- As part of their awareness raising activities, the SFP publish the Tidelines magazine, an e-newsletter, various coastal booklets, regular social media posts, webinars, films and press features.
- Clair also informed the group about the Robin Rig Community Fund which will be open in late summer 2021 for applications in Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbria for projects in coastal areas.
Anyone interested in working with Clair and her team at the Solway Firth Partnership can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gwilym thanked Clair for her update and commitment to The Crichton.
Find out more about all tenants on The Crichton Directory – www.crichton.co.uk
REMINDER TO ALL TENANTS:
If you are a tenant at The Crichton, please remember to keep your profile updated on The Crichton Directory – complete the form at the top of the page or email: email@example.com
Please encourage your colleagues to sign up to The Crichton Trust Newsletter which is accessible in the footer of our website and to browse The Crichton Magazine.
If you would like to provide an update at future meetings, please get in touch.
The next Tenants’ Forum will take place on Wednesday 26 May at 11am and will include an update from Emma Eden about the work of Genesis Occupational Health & Safety. As usual, tenants will receive an email invitation from The Crichton Trust with joining details. Please note future meetings will take place on Teams. Any queries please contact the office on 01387 247544.
The next Crichton Briefing will take place on Tuesday 1 June at 4pm. This meeting will also take place on Teams and a link will be shared on social media. All welcome.