Following the conclusion of a successful community asset transfer process the board and staff of Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) are delighted to announce that as of Friday 26th February 2021, Forres Town Hall is now under the ownership of FACT.
Joanna Taylor, Chair of Forres Area Community Trust said ‘’This is tremendous news, and the culmination of a process which began back in 2018. We are now moving forward with a major fundraising strategy to raise the £3.4 million estimated overall cost of a regeneration project to bring the community’s vision for the future of Forres Town Hall to life and to act as a catalyst for positive change in Forres and the surrounding area’’.
This vision will see Forres Town Hall transformed with the entire building being refurbished to create an event venue, community building, and co-working space fit for the 21st Century, supporting the community in many and different ways. The Main Hall will be transformed into a modern multi-purpose performance area, the Lesser Hall will be restored to become a beautiful event space once more, and there will be improved accessibility to all areas including the upper floors.
The project will regenerate, refurbish, and insulate the building, and its flexibility of use and attractiveness as an event and activities centre will provide a springboard for a wider regeneration process within the town of Forres. The project will maximise the potential of the building whilst at the same time reducing its environmental impact and running costs. This will lead to the long-term sustainability of Forres Town Hall as an asset for the whole community and help further FACT’s aim to create a better place to live, work, and visit.
Debbie Herron, Development Manager Forres Area Community Trust said ‘’We are very excited to receive confirmation that Forres Town Hall, an iconic building at the heart of our community, is now in community ownership. The proposed regeneration project is a potent combination of architectural importance, cultural significance and community benefit and we are looking forward to moving to the next steps for this project.’’
‘’We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders at the Scottish Land Fund, National Lottery Community Fund, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and the Community Support Unit and the Community Asset Transfer team at Moray Council who have helped us reach this exciting milestone in the history of Forres Town Hall.’’
John Watt, Chair, Scottish Land Fund, said: ‘’We are delighted that Forres Area Community Trust have achieved their goal and that Forres Town Hall will now form the centre of vital activities that will support and enhance the community for generations to come’’.
Moray Council’s Acting Community Support Manager, Dawn Brodie, said: “Our community support unit has supported FACT over the last two years as they worked on their CAT business case. It has been so encouraging to see FACT manage and improve the Town Hall in the last couple of years and to work alongside HIE to support FACT through the CAT process. It’s great news that the transfer is complete and I would just wish them every success with their exciting plans for the development of the building.”
If anyone would like any further information, please do get in touch. If you want to know more about the project, and how it is progressing towards bringing the community’s vision for the future of Forres Town Hall to life, more information is available on FACT’s website at https://forresarea.org/forres-town-hall/.
We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who would like to share any memories, reminiscences, or photographs about past times spent at Forres Town Hall. Please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01309 674388.