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The Old School tearoom is closed

The tearoom has now closed for the season. Building work continues and we will keep you updated on progress. Thanks to everyone who visited us and look out for events coming up later.

 
 
 

Late November 2021 Update - We Need Your Input!

Building work at The Old School, Inverasdale is progressing well. We expect this phase of its development to be completed by the end of this year. At that point we will have a brand-new commercial grade kitchen serving a refurbished tearoom in the old schoolhouse. There will also be new toilets and the Old Library is being refurbished too.

The refurbished Tearoom will be open as soon as possible for regular teas, and for evening events, meetings, parties, children’s groups and many other things. The new heating system, the insulation and the wood-burning stove will mean that it is always warm and welcoming.

Although we don’t yet know what the regulations about meeting in public will be, we hope to be able to have an opening event when the work is done so that the community can come and see what has been achieved.

We want to start the refurbishment and redevelopment of the rest of the building. We are calling this Phase 2. Back in 2018 we prepared a business plan which listed some of the things that you had told us you wanted the school building to include:

  • Large meetings/events of 50 or more people
  • Smaller meetings/events of 15 to 20 people (Both of these having catering facilities attached, wi-fi, flexible layout and furniture suitable for parties, education, meetings and available for hire)
  • An informal social meeting place, especially suitable for older people
  • A day care service
  • A one-to-one consultation room suitable for advice, treatment, therapy, personal services and care, with adjoining disabled toilet, shower and changing room
  • Permanent exhibition space for use highlighting local heritage
  • A tearoom
  • Public toilets, showers and laundry facilities
  • Two or more lockable workspaces for rent
  • An office and reception area for the entire building
  • Off-road parking

All provided to a high standard of design and energy efficiency.

We don’t yet know how all these services might be provided or exactly what they will look like. For instance:

  • What kind of day care service for our older residents would you like to see?
  • What could workspaces be used for?
  • What personal services would you like to see, for example hairdressing, physiotherapy, podiatry etc?

We want to be sure that when we start designing phase 2, we have considered everything that is important to the community. We have asked you these questions in the past, but we want to update the plan again. If you think the list above is missing something, please let us know.

Use the survey form here on the website to tell us your ideas. It's also under 'More Options..' in the menu at the top of the page. Or, if you wish, you can download it here, complete it and pop it in the school letterbox when you are passing, or email it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please submit your ideas by 7th December.

 

November 2021 Update - Work Continues

Work continues and is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year. We have reached the major milestone of the completion of the new floors with underfloor heating in the tearoom, the old library, and the new kitchen. Also, the new front porch is almost complete and our beautiful new windows in the tearoom have been installed; they are going to make such a difference to the atmosphere in the building. We are really looking forward to inviting you to our opening - look out for further news!

 

Now that we can see real progress being made, it's a good opportunity to once again acknowledge the support of the various funders who are making this possible: The Scottish Government through the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund; The National Lottery Community Fund; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; The Prince's Countryside Fund; The Robertson Trust; The Highland Council; and many more. Thank you!

And of course we must thank our on-site Simpson Builders team who are doing a grand job in spite of the less than helpful weather. Keep up the good work!

September 2021 Update

After several years of planning and fundraising, work to refurbish The Old School, Inverasdale has started. We appointed Simpson Builders who started work in August to construct a new large kitchen, improve the insulation, install new windows and doors and provide modern, efficient heating in the southern half of the building which includes the much-loved tearoom. There will also be a new entrance porch to the tearoom providing disabled access.

 

Repairs are being made to the outside of the building as well as inside

 


The ground floor of schoolhouse with walls stripped and new cement floor

July 2021 Update (2)

Wester Loch Ewe Trust has been successful in reaching its minimum target funding and we look forward to building work at The Old School starting in August
thanks to additional funding of £33,000 from Adapt & Thrive. There is some "delayed work" still to be funded. The work on our new kitchen and upgrades to the schoolhouse is scheduled to complete by late November.

It is great to have the tea room open again, although only on Wednesday afternoons from 2.00 - 4.00 pm. You can enjoy your hot drinks and home baking in our
grounds, in our new shelter, or take them away with you.

We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has come along on Wednesday afternoons to support us. This service has proved very popular
and we are very pleased to say that we've seen several of our regular holiday visitors as well as many locals.

July 2021 Update

On Wednesday afternoons from 7th July, the much-loved Old Schoolhouse Tearoom, will offer coffee, teas and home-baking as a take-away service from 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Place your orders at the school door and they will be delivered to you when ready.

Scottish Government regulations mean that we must collect your details for Track & Trace or you have the option of scanning a code with your mobile phone to give the details.

The Shelter will be available for use but strictly first come, first seated and if it’s full, you may wish to take your goodies to your car. There’s always the option of taking in our wonderful scenery.

June 2021 Update

Our recent community consultation on the use of The Old School this summer found the majority of respondents did not wish to use the building until Covid and our planned building works are over. A sizeable majority of respondents did not wish us to site a marquee on the football pitch but wished a robust form of outdoor shelter to be provided for carry-out tea and cakes, etc. This has now been provided in the form of a very solid container which is furnished with tables and chairs and is fully Covid-compliant.

Container being unloaded

The shelter being sited on an overcast June day.

March 2021 Update

Wester Loch Ewe Trust (WLET) is pleased to report that it has secured funding of £19,548 from the Scottish Government’s Communities Recovery Fund, via Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to support The Old School, as local community centre for Cove, Inverasdale and Naast, during the COVID-19 crisis.

HIE is co-ordinating the Communities Recovery Fund in the Highlands and Islands, on behalf of the Scottish Government, for all eligible community organisations. Its purpose is to help implementing changes to reintroduce the delivery of existing services and activities that have been suspended or severely reduced because of COVID-19 and/or deliver new services identified as a priority by communities as a result of COVID-19.

The Communities Recovery funding has provided WLET with revenue to allow 2 new staff posts – a Community Co-ordinator and a Janitor/Cleaner – to be established. Initially, these were to run from March until the end of May 2021. However, we are pleased to say that we have also secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Adapt and Thrive Fund which will allow WLET to extend these posts until the end of December 2021. This additional funding (£40,854) will also help us to purchase stocks and supplies to make the premises COVID-safe, and to make any physical adaptations of the building and grounds that may be helpful and/or necessary.

The Community Co-ordinator will develop and oversee a programme of activities. There will be communication and consultation to enable The Old School to reconnect with the community and visitors to the area, and to ensure all health and safety measures are met.

We look forward to welcoming the community and visitors again when Scottish Government Guidelines permit.

LATEST NEWS:

We are pleased to report that we have filled the Community Co-ordinator role.

January 2021 Progress Update

Members will already know that WLET welcomed Fiona Begg in December 2020 to provide management and coordination services for us. Along with Fiona, the Board is working hard with Benjamin Tindall Architects and other members of the design team to finalise drawings for the Building Warrant to ensure that our Phase 1 extension and upgrade is future-proofed to allow progression in the future to Phase 2 and further phases to provide the flexibility of accommodation and revenue streams for the future.

You will recall that Phase 1 of this capital project is financed through funding from The Lottery, The Prince’s Countryside Fund and the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. We are in regular communication with these funders regarding our progress.

When passing The Old School, you may have been aware of our beautiful new, almost completed, shed. This was built with WLET funds raised through appeals to private funders and will provide welcome storage when completed in the near future. When weather permits, MacRae Brothers will finish their work on the extended car park, also funded by gifts from private funders during the last financial year.

Together with our volunteer fundraiser, the Board is preparing applications to help fund necessary changes to how we will work within the building to allow everyone to feel safe when we can can again use The Old School. We are also seeking funding for 2 part-time posts - a Janitor/Cleaner and a Community Services Coordinator, plus funding to hire an outside structure to allow the community to meet once again when Government regulations allow.

December 2020 Update

Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, we seem no closer to being able to open The Old School in springtime. We are hoping to hold the AGM in February 2021 and will be letting all members know the relevant details as soon as possible.

The Trustees are very pleased to welcome Fiona Begg who is providing WLET with management and coordination services for the building project to provide a new kitchen, new toilets, and various other improvements in The Old School.

Fiona has a BA in Architecture and valuable experience in steering community projects to completion. Amongst other building projects on the west coast, she has provided services to manage the construction of the community hall, shop and cafe on the south side of Skye for the Camuscross & Duisdale Initiative.

July 2020 Update

Due to the current situation with regard to Covid-19, the necessary physical distancing measures and other Government restrictions, and in order to help keep our volunteers and community safe, Wester Loch Ewe Trust has reluctantly decided not to open the Old School this season.

Everyone involved would like to thank our community and all our regular summer visitors for their support. We do hope to welcome you all again when circumstances permit, perhaps later in the year.

Pop-up Tearoom - Thanks to All

Thanks to all who came along to support our pop-up Tearoom at the Old School, Inverasdale on Friday 21st February. You are much appreciated! Thanks to all who took part in our competitions: Isaac Stephen won the llama and Cath O’Hara won the puffin. We raised £301 for our funds and had a lovely afternoon. Thanks to all involved, especially our talented knitter, Lil, who donated the llama and puffin.

February 2020 Update

We were planning to hold a soup lunch on Wednesday 18th March, but this was cancelled due to the current coronavirus emergency. We hope that the Tearoom will be open as usual on Wednesdays and Fridays beginning Friday 1st May. The season ends on Friday 30th October.

We had our AGM in late November – see gallery pictures here .... Our long-serving Vice Chair, Mary Rogers, stood down for family reasons and we welcomed Jackie Stephen onto the WLET Board.

The annual Hogmanay Gathering was a very enjoyable and successful occasion bringing together local people of all ages. We may manage another this year.

As always, we welcome anyone who would wish to volunteer help in any way. You don’t have to have a lot of time – an hour can make a difference.

Thank You!

Our special Christmas afternoon in the Old Schoolhouse Tearoom on Friday 6th December was very successful – over 60 people attended and we raised over £260 for our funds! Many thanks to all who came along – we do appreciate your support. We would like to say a special thank you to Santa’s Elf for helping to make the opening so enjoyable for everyone, especially our younger visitors.

Another Successful Season Ends

Here at the Old School, Inverasdale we’ve had a lovely 2019 summer season with another substantial increase in footfall and income against the previous year’s. We extend thanks to everyone whoJigsaw has helped to make such a success - particularly those who bake, help out in the Tearoom and in the Exhibition Rooms, along with all those individuals and organisations who have contributed in any way.

The jigsaw donated by Gairloch Heritage Museum has proved a big hit with everyone who visits the School Exhibition – both children and adults!

This rearranged schoolroom area has been a great hit with our younger visitors as you can see from the photograph of a young visitor working hard at her desk!


Hard at Work

 

 

 

The ‘Land Fit for Heroes’ exhibition kindly loaned by Gairloch Heritage Museum has been much enjoyed by visitors who spent time studying the information together with that in the ‘Gairloch Role of Honour’ in our display cabinets and booklets documenting the Poolewe Burial Ground.

WLET has been invited to Round 2 of the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for match funding towards the proposed new kitchen extension and porch, funding having already been secured through the National Lottery Community Fund and the Prince’s Countryside Fund. We will hear the outcome of the RCGF application in January 2020, at the earliest.

Thank you to:
• Steelite for the wonderful teapots, cups and plates
• All those who recently donated crockery
• to Julie (Cornerstone) for the donation of a wrapping paper display stand
• Gairloch Museum
• Everyone who has helped us in any way this year!

We are already looking forward to planning for the 2020 season!

 

June 2019 Update

The summer season at the Old School, Inverasdale has had a tremendous start. In May we welcomed three times as many people to the Old Schoolhouse Tearoom and exhibitions as against the same period last year!

“A Land Fit for Heroes” has proved interesting, enjoyable and moving for so many of our visitors. One visitor said “We came and had excellent tea and cake at the School last week, and spent some time enjoying your exhibitions. I think you've done a grand job of displaying the Museum posters in the context of your own stories.”

The ‘School Exhibition’ continues to attract interest, not just from those who have connections. A visitor who spent quite some time in the school exhibition recently, particularly admired the gallery of photographs and the story told by these and the School Registers.

If you’re visiting the area come along and have tea, coffee and home-baking on a Wednesday or Friday afternoon from 2.00 pm until 4.30 pm, enjoy our exhibitions and browse the local arts and crafts on display.

 

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