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The name may be changing but the good work continues…
After 12 years of improving the lives of people in Dundee, Craigowl Communities is changing the way they operate. April 1st, Craigowl’s activities transferred to their sister company, Gowrie Care, who will continue to deliver projects in the city aimed at improving people’s circumstances.
Lynn Cunningham, Craigowl’s managing director explained that
“Craigowl joined the Hillcrest Group six years ago, and this is concluding that merger. With an ever shrinking funding pot, Craigowl like many small charities has to deliver value for money, and by aligning our services with Gowrie Care the important work we have been doing will continue.”
Craigowl delivers services to support people to take steps towards finding and keeping a job, to improve their confidence and self-esteem, to manage debts, benefits and budgeting and to provide opportunities to obtain practical skills and qualifications.
Lynn Cunningham continued that
“Over the last 12 years it is estimated that Craigowl has supported over ten thousand people make positive changes to their lives. Craigowl’s money advice team has helped people claim in-work and other benefits, to the tune of £7.5 m over this period.”
The Craigowl projects will continue to be delivered from The Learning Place in the Hilltown, but under the Gowrie Care name. The expertise Craigowl’s Making Money Work team has developed will not be lost either. This valuable service is being mainstreamed, and the team are moving to Dundee City Council, from where they will continue to deliver the service.
Lynn Cunningham added
“I want to say a big thank you to all the staff that have contributed to Craigowl’s success over the years and wish the teams all the best for the future.”
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Regeneration project for DC Thomson building
A project to regenerate West Ward, DC Thomson’s former book and annual print works in Dundee, is now underway. A charitable trust will be established shortly to develop the building as a cultural and creative hub, exploring a range of possible uses of the space as a cultural venue, business incubator and innovation centre.
It follows a period of successful research and analysis, led by Bryan Beattie of Creative Services, to establish the potential redevelopment of the West Ward building and its uses.
David Cook has been appointed as Project Director to lead the development. He said:
“I’m delighted to have been appointed to this very exciting project, which will build on Dundee’s incredible track record of design-led regeneration. West Ward has huge potential and, at 200,000 square feet, could become one of the largest, permanent creative spaces in the UK. The next phase of its development will begin a process of redeveloping the site to realise its potential economic, social and cultural impacts for the city and beyond. ”
Previously Chief Executive of Wasps Artists’ Studios for 23 years, David brings a wealth of experience in culture-led regeneration and reinventing historic and listed buildings, including the £6.8m redevelopment of the Briggait, and the RIAS Andrew Doolan award winning South Block in Glasgow. It is planned to raise funds and invest in the building over the next 10 years from a wide range of partners and investors. Fundraising for the venture is in progress and the project was recently accepted into the Tay Cities Deal Programme. In the coming weeks, a Chair and Board members will be recruited by the charitable trust to deliver the project.
DC Thomson Director and Chief Operating Officer, David Thomson said:
“We’re delighted to be investigating opportunities for the future use of West Ward.”
DC Thomson is fully supportive of Dundee’s Cultural development, including the V&A Dundee project, and we’re keen to contribute to further arts facilities for the city. We’ve been exploring ideas for the potential revitalisation of our West Ward building as a cultural space with initiatives like the Dundee Design Festival which will take place again in 2017.
“Other former industrial spaces and jute mills have been successfully redeveloped for the creative communities. This project will help us to understand the potential for our building in Guthrie Street and to develop proposals for the costs, funding and financial viability of the project.”
To mark Dundee becoming the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design the building played host to the inaugural Dundee Design Festival in May 2016, attracting over 7000 visitors to the space to participate in design focused workshops, exhibitions and talks. The Design Festival returns to West Ward Works for an extended five-day run in May 2017 following the theme of ‘Factory Floor’ celebrating makers and their machines.
The redevelopment project will be delivered in phases with occupation of the building commencing later this year.
Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure and Communities at Dundee City Council, said:
“Over the last eighteen months Leisure & Culture Dundee has worked with DC Thomson and partners in the city to bring West Ward back to life
West Ward played a key role in delivering the UNESCO City of Design programme when it was used to host Dundee’s first Design Festival. It’s been a challenging and hugely rewarding experience. We look forward to supporting this next phase of the development and remaining a part of its story.”
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