Whithorn Community Hub opens

Mark Zygadlo, creator of the storytellers chair, Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive D&G Council, Rev. Alex Currie and seated, Hazel Smith, Chair of the Parent Council and project architect. GG 0307017 12
Mark Zygadlo, creator of the storytellers chair, Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive D&G Council, Rev. Alex Currie and seated, Hazel Smith, Chair of the Parent Council and project architect. GG 0307017 12

This week saw the eagerly awaited formal opening of the Whithorn Community Hub.

Set within the grounds of Whithorn Primary, the hub serves as an alternative meeting place for already established groups in Whithorn and, in time, may act as a meeting place for other groups looking for this type of facility. Being located in the school grounds, the children especially are very excited about now using the hub.

Dumfries and Galloway Council chief executive Gavin Stevenson cut the ribbon to declare the hub open. Whithorn school choir performed three songs followed by the recorder group playing Bonnie Galloway and Morning has Broken.

The project was inspired and led by the Whithorn Primary Parent Council. A hub sub-group was set up, supported by Councillor Alistair Geddes, who enabled this project to become a reality. Thanks must go to Geoff Lewis, Dave McRobert and Johnnie Bell, who were instrumental in the implementation. Funding was secured with Awards for All by Billy Dodds and Laura Kiltie, and applications were made to the Mid Galloway Area Committee, which also funded the beautifully hand-carved “storyteller’s chair” made by Mark Zygadlo and based on designs created in a workshop with the children on the historical story of Whithorn. The design incorporates the 12th century Bishops Crosier and is worth a visit to admire.

Whithorn Primary’s eco com- mittee also donated to the pro- ject and Whithorn Parent Council Fundraising Group held many fundraising events to make it possible. Norman Hughes, head master at Whithorn, and the deputy head, Evelyn Steele, have been supportive and encouraging throughout.

The hub is an eight-metre diameter octagonal structure made from Douglas fir timbers and a cedar-clad roof by Peter Skimming and Son. The walls are of the best local stone and were skilfully built by David Topping Ltd. The roof design was engineered by Andrew Morrow of Finite Engineering, who generously donated his time. This structure should serve the community for many years.

Hazel Smith, chairwoman of Whithorn Parent Council and project architect, said: “This would not have been possible had it not been for the support from the established groups within Whithorn and the community. The project was also encouraged by pupils and staff who identified an opportunity to develop their environmental awareness and use this facility to further their learning in a healthier and more eco-friendly environment.

“We encourage the use of the hub and have a simple booking system based in the school in term time and the Community Centre in holidays. Thanks to all who have contributed.”