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Muirkirk Enterprise Group


Facts & Figures

Organisation Name:Muirkirk Enterprise Group
Individual Name:
Area Served:Muirkirk, East Ayrshire
Population:1630
Sketch:

Muirkirk Enterprise Group originated in 2000 as an offshoot from the Muirkirk Community Council with the aim of regenerating Muirkirk. The ongoing aim is to provide sustainable regeneration to the whole village community, and to create pride, respect and hope for the village for generations to come. MEG has gone on to design and develop a large number of projects to improve the physical appearance of the village, encourage tourists and visitors, increase employment opportunities, improve community safety, and create a community where people want to live. MEG provides a wide range of services including sports and recreational activities, and the development and conservation of local heritage sites.

Legal Form:

Company Limited by guarantee with Charitable status

Volunteers:35
People Benefitting:From the young right through to the elderly
Staff:1
Turnover:Ranges from ?60,000 to ?150.000 per annum
Earned Income:

£12,000 per annum from Garan House and Information Office rent

Assets:

An office building, two heritage gardens, an all weather sports pitch, an adventure playground, a skatepark, three car parks and two derelict buildings which we are about to demolish and landscape. Plus two plantations, which are looked after for us by East Ayrshire Council.

Value of assets:?100.000 plus

Roots & Links

Origins:

MEG originated in 2000 as an offshoot from the Muirkirk Community Council with the aim of regenerating Muirkirk.

Governance:

MEG is governed by a Board of 12 Directors proposed and elected by members of the Group. Two of the directors are Community Councillors. All meetings are advertised and open to any members of the public to attend.

Community Links:

MEG is well linked to a number of local community groups including Community Service, East Ayrshire Woodlands, Ayrshire Enterprise Group, East Ayrshire Council, Access Group

External Links:

MEG is fully involved in partnership working with many external public and private sector organisations including East Ayrshire Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Coal, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire and DTA Scotland.

Activities

Physical Hub:

Garan House has been purchased and refurbished as a community house. It provides office accommodation for MEG, meeting space for other community groups and for the start up of small business operations.

Builds Local Capacity:

MEG grows the local capacity of local people through a range of volunteering opportunities and access to an IT learning centre

Delivers Services:

MEG provides a wide range of services including sports and recreational activities, development and conservation of a heritage site, development and management of 2 adventure playgrounds, an I.T. Learning Centre, a caravan park, a museum with additional space rented by the Action Team for Jobs and the Citizens Advice Bureau, 2 plantations plus a series of walking areas and 3 car parks, an environmental greenhouse built with cans and looked after by the local school, beautification of the town including hanging baskets, production of a fortnightly paper and a tourist brochure, MEG also assists local businesses to access grants.  We run a Firework Display, a Party for Hillside School and we also arrange Christmas Lights and have 2 Children's Concerts every year.

Develops/Manages Property:

MEG leases a building that is used as an I.T. Learning Centre and a museum with additional space that is rented by the Action Team for Jobs and the Citizens Advice Bureau. MEG also manages 2 plantations and provides accommodation for the Scottish Coal headquarters, a beautician, a new fish and chip shop and a bakers shop. MEG designed and built an outdoor sports complex and designed and manage a skate board park in consultation with local young people Other: a few years ago it was almost impossible to sell houses in the area, now all houses that are on the market are sold almost immediately

Other:
Main Achievements:

1. Establishment of the Floodlit Sports Complex – over 30,000 people have used it since it was built and the revenue goes towards renewing the astro turf when it requires it.

2. Over the years we have managed to obtain around £1M in Grant Aid

3. The many walks that have been created brings large numbers of people into the village and helps the local economy

4.  2013 saw the 4th annual World John Lapraik Festival (John Lapraik is buried in the old Kirkyard and was a friend of Robert Burns)

What Next

Biggest Challenge:

Managing to hold the Group together and sustain their interest in the development of the community

Lessons Learned:

• Every time someone said we couldn’t do it we did it! Importance of keeping going in the face of criticism - and soon we saw results. • Anything can be achieved with imagination, partnership working and the motivation of a community looking for change. • Be patient and make sure that the grant applications are well written and the project is feasible

Aspirations:

MEG are now trying to obtain finance for an extension to the Skate Board Park and an extension to the Dry Stane Dyke on the Kirk Plantation. They are in the process of negotiating the possible takeover of the local Games Hall that the Council wish to dispose of to try and save money.

Contact

Name:Jim Currie MBE, JP
Title:Chair
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:KA18 3QY
City:Muirkirk
County:
Telephone:01290 661234
Fax:01290 661890
Email:jpcurrie95@aol.com
Website URL:www.muirkirk-enterprise-group.com
District:Aberdeenshire