We asked Tim Tindle, the current chair of our Trust, to explain why he sees this project as so important.
“The school was the beating heart of our community and when it was closed, which was a long and protracted process, it is fair to say there was disgruntlement and upset in the community.
The Trust acquiring the school for the community gives us a great opportunity to make it once again a central part of our village, and frankly help regenerate our village – we used to have a bus service, a garage, a shop and a post office as well as a school. The Trust managed to get high speed internet access into the glen in 2020 which has been transformational (and the timing with Covid was, well, fantastic) and the School project can be the same. In 2019 I was part of a team that set up a social enterprise academy hub in the national park and through that and visiting social enterprises I, as a businessman, have been enthused by this business model – it can and does work.
We used to have many “local jobs” in our area in agriculture, water and forestry but these have declined due to mechanisation, efficiency and policy changes. Nothing wrong with that, it’s progress, but we can create sustainable full time paid work in our community and improve the service levels to our rural community. Is this self help? Yes I suppose it is. As a community we do get on with things, we are proud to, and we need to continue to stand on our own feet.
Will it deliver on the green agenda – yes the project will be an enabler to reduce those 16 mile round trips to the nearest shop and should cut out some commuting as well.
It’s easy to think of the Trossachs as a beautiful place that tourists visit on holiday but it is not a museum it is our home. Tourism isn’t going to go away we need to harness it to revitalise our community. The project will make a positive difference to our lives”.
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