The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is thrilled to have awarded a Project Development Grant to Dalbeattie Community Initiative to advance plans to transform the former Dalbeattie Primary School into an exciting new Activity Centre and 60-bed hostel.
This award was approved at the latest Grants Panel, where 8 projects across Scotland and England were offered funding totalling £365,537.
The former Dalbeattie Primary School was built in 1876 and is a distinctive example of a rural school Board building. Constructed in granite, in Gothic style, its three-storey tower with octagonal belfry is an iconic feature of the town’s skyline. Since the school’s closure in 2017, the building has been left vacant.
Dalbeattie Community Initiative was formed to act as a catalyst within the community and to respond to local needs and priorities. The group aims to restore the former Dalbeattie Primary School to help promote and encourage the physical and economic regeneration of Dalbeattie and the surrounding area. The building is ideally situated adjacent to the Dalbeattie Forest with its network of biking and hiking trails running to the coast.
Known as the Rocks and Wheels project, the plan is to regenerate this much-loved building as an Activity Centre with a climbing wall, bouldering facilities, external pump track, café and community meeting spaces. Further, a 60-bed hostel will provide flexible, affordable visitor accommodation and offer washing and drying facilities for outdoor activities. External landscaping will create an outdoor amphitheatre, connecting the building with trails leading into woodland.
The Historic Environment Scotland-supported AHF grant will fund further market testing and staff capacity to take the project forward.