Crieff Community Trust is seeking support for registering a community interest in the former Drummond Arms and RBS Crieff Branch, and has issued the following press release.
Press Release – February 2014
Crieff Community Trust (CCT) and its partners, Crieff Community Council and CUSP are now almost one year on from the launch of the Crieff Action Plan where the wishes of the people of Crieff for the future of their town were expressed.
High priority among these concerns was for the future of the now empty and dilapidated Drummond Arms Hotel — a much-loved, but now sad landmark in the town.
At an early stage CCT formed a Town Centre Working Group drawing volunteer members from CCT, CCC and CUSP and this group has done a huge amount of research and planning.
However, any project involving this property will inevitably be a long and complex one as there are many issues to be addressed before any concrete action can be taken.
A legal action involving the two current owners of the building (Strathfare and the Royal Bank of Scotland) will be brought to court later this year and the result of this action may bring about the sale of the building. RBS was forced to vacate their Crieff branch in 2012 for health and safety reasons.
RBS, being aware of the Community’s concerns in relation to the building, has approached CCT with an offer to transfer their portion of the property to CCT for a nominal sum. Discussions with RBS took place in December 2013 and, although it is not in the community’s best interests to take up this offer at present, communication with RBS will continue and the offer remains in place for the present.
The principal objective of the CCT and the Town Centre Group is to find a long-term solution to the future of the Drummond Arms. With this in mind, and so that the people of Crieff may have some say in the future development of the property, CCT has begun the process of applying to the Scottish Government for a Community Right to Buy. If this is granted it will make formal the community’s interest in the building although NO purchase would take place unless a full feasibility study, a detailed business plan and adequate funding were in place. During 2014 CCT and the Town Centre Group are undertaking the first phase of this planning work. Once in place, a CRTB remains valid for five years and may be renewed if necessary.
A spokesperson for CCT said, “The Community Right to Buy application must be supported by at least 10% of registered Crieff voters so we will be raising a petition in the town during the next two months to fulfill this requirement. This is a very important issue for Crieff and we hope that people will show their support by signing the petition. We will only proceed to purchase the Drummond Arms if the property comes on the market after funds are raised and full planning is in place. This will take some time and other options may arise in the meantime, but there are people in the town who are not prepared to stand by and do nothing while this key building at the centre of Crieff continues to deteriorate.”
A group of volunteers will also collect signatures around Crieff. Look out for the next edition of Crieff Matters (automatically sent to members and available in the library and Health Centre) where the Community Right to Buy will be explained in more detail and the latest developments will be aired.
Where can people sign the petition?
If you’re a registered voter in Crieff, you can sign the petition. It will be available at the following locations:
- Volunteers will be in James Square between 10am and 2pm every Saturday between now and the end of March
- At Fun Junction, High Street, daily 9.15 – 5.15
Other locations will be announced on the CCT Facebook page and on our website.