UPDATE FROM OUR ARCHITECTS APRIL 2022
John Gilbert Architects is a Scottish design studio, passionate about designing places for people and the planet. We deliver beautiful projects designed with users, residents and the community. We undertake design work from a strategic level to detailed architecture with creativity, enthusiasm and knowledge.
The project team for the Heart of Newhaven is very experienced in conservation and working in the community sector.
Associate Director Scott Abercrombie holds RIBA conservation accreditation and is a full member of the IHBC. We have approached this project as an exciting opportunity to create a community hub and save the beautiful old Victorian building for future generations. We are particularly excited about using the site as a whole to create a space for intergenerational interaction where all feel welcome, safe and inspired.
As the mean-while use architects, we are focused on repairing the fabric of the Victorian building and ensuring that as much of the site is accessible to all ages and abilities as is possible. We have enjoyed crafting this space and hope that the Newhaven community enjoys using it!
PLANNED TIMELINE 19 JANUARY 2021
TIMELine FOR ACQUISITION OF VICTORIA PRIMARY SCHOOL 11 JANUARY 2021
The current Covid19 Pandemic has delayed many things, including the completion of the new Victoria Primary School building.
Our timetable for the acquisition of the old site has therefore been delayed as well.
The new school is now expected to open in the autumn term of this year, 2021, although that may slip further if further pandemic restrictions are brought in.
We have permission from CEC to purchase the site under the Community Asset Transfer Scheme and our legal advisors are working on a contract to be drawn up with them.
This is currently expected to be finalised around March 2021.
Click here for a link to our business plan submitted to the CEC in February 2020.
Our application to the Scottish Land Fund for the funds to purchase the site has been submitted and will be determined when they next meet, following the May elections for a new Scottish Parliament.
In the meantime, the board of Heart of Newhaven Community SCIO continues to work on various projects to bring the community together, as well as on all aspects of the purchase and subsequent utilisation of the site.
Regular updates are posted on The Heart of Newhaven website and oursocial media outlets.
TIMELINE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF VICTORIA PRIMARY SCHOOL 27 JUNE 2019
The granting of planning permission for the building of the new Victoria Primary School has been delayed. The Council assures us it will be determined shortly and the school will open during the 2020/21 school year. As a result, the process of Community Asset Transfer is being adjusted. The revised timetable is: October 2019 - Jan 2020 feasibility work January 2020 - Asset Transfer application based on the feasibility study to City of Edinburgh Council July 2020 - decision by the City of Edinburgh Council on the application September 2020 - application to Scottish Land Fund for the agreed purchase costs of the school January 2021 -
Purchase of the school In the meantime our detailed programme of community consultation with the support of Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) continues and we will be posting regular updates on our website and via social media
The story so far
In June 2017 City of Edinburgh Council’s (CEC) proposal that Victoria Primary School in Newhaven (VPS) vacate its existing site, and relocate to a new building in Western Harbour, a newly developed part of Newhaven, was agreed by CEC following consultation with parents and the local community. The outcomes of the consultation report noted that council officers will continue to provide support to community groups wishing to consider community ownership of the existing Victoria Primary School building through the Community Asset Transfer process.
WHO WE ARE
The Heart of Newhaven Community (HoNC) was constituted in January 2019 as an unincorporated association. We have an Executive Group of three people and a wider Steering Group. We have a growing membership of around 400, representing a wide range of interested parties within the Newhaven community.
The objects of the association are to work with all interested groups to develop a vision for the promotion of the community with a view to acquiring VPS as a vital community asset which will belong to the Newhaven community and to set in place the appropriate legal entity for that purpose.
HOW DO WE KNOW THERE IS A NEED FOR THE COMMUNITY TO ACQUIRE THE BUILDING?
Two open meetings were held in October 2018 and January 2019, both attended by over 100 people. In October 2018 those attending were asked to provide ideas on the types of activities that could occur in the building if acquired by the community. At the January meeting this ‘blue sky thinking’ which had been analysed was fed back as three themes with a common thread of older and younger people coming together in a variety of activities. The Steering Group agreed that this idea should be part of a more detailed community consultation with the support of an organisation experienced in intergenerational practice and in helping individuals and community organisations to get involved in decision-making in the planning system in an impartial, open and inclusive way. Funding from the Big Lottery and the Neighbourhood Partnership enabled us to contract PAS (Planning Aid Scotland) to support us in this consultation.