The Trust is very happy to have had a successful community share offer for the Cultybraggan Camp 21 Bunkhouse project which closed on Friday 27th November 2015. The share offer raised a total of £27, 325 with 63% local investment and 37% non local investors. Thank you to all who have helped to support this unique project and to thank you to the new shareholders who we will continue to work with.
Cultybraggan Camp is the last remaining WWII high security POW camp in the U.K (Camp 21). It is a unique historic environment which has been recognised by Historic Scotland as having international significance. Comrie Development Trust (CDT) is now offering Community Shares, giving individuals the opportunity to invest in sustaining part of Cultybraggan as the best preserved P.O.W camp in Scotland.
The community of Comrie acquired Cultybraggan Camp in 2007, from the army, to ensure that it survived intact. Now we have secured funding from Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish & Southern Energy to refurbish a key group of vacant listed buildings within the camp. This share offer will provide the final piece of the funding package, and demonstrate widespread support for this unique endeavour, which will give new life to these buildings as bunkhouse and self-catering accommodation.
The Comrie Heritage Group was formed in 2012 in response to a CDT community consultation. Since then the group has worked tirelessly on various projects including raising the profile of the camp, with the aim of increasing the understanding of its history, whilst conserving the unique environment at Cultybraggan. The group is delighted that the Camp 21 Bunkhouse proposal will give CDT the opportunity to protect this key group of buildings. Members are also actively working towards plans for other buildings to maintain the site, make it more economically viable in the long term and ultimately preserve it for future generations as a space to reflect upon events in the past.
“The preservation of this camp is vital as it is part of a diminishing resource of WWII sites that will help future generations to understand conflict and its impact on British communities.”
Dr Iain Banks, Executive Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, University of Glasgow
Comrie Development Trust has managed the camp, for the community, over the past 8 years. With over 80 nissen huts to maintain and find uses for, this is no easy task. Some 30 of the huts are listed for special protection by Historic Scotland, which means that the exterior of the buildings cannot be altered, and that makes it even more difficult to find a suitable use. The Trust does not have the resources to prevent these buildings deteriorating. Nissen huts were only designed to last 15 years and they are now over 70 years old. Creating an enterprise provides the income to maintain these huts over the long-term.
The Trust has been investigating uses for these huts for some time, but as the exterior of the buildings cannot be altered our options are limited. A study carried out in 2010 concluded that a self -catering business at Cultybraggan could succeed by catering to a niche market. Perthshire is already popular with visitors. Increasingly people are looking for places to stay that provide a unique experience and the camp provides a unique destination. More research and business planning has been carried out which backs up this finding. A survey on facebook confirmed the demand to stay at the camp, especially from many of those who were based there when it was an army training centre. They would like to get the chance to stay in the former officers` living accommodation. 4,000 people already visit the camp every year. With plans to create a larger heritage centre, cafe, and more attractions and events, the numbers are expected to increase to over 15,000 in a few years. This is also expected to create some 20 full -time equivalent jobs and inject over £20m into the local economy. Longer term projections are of 40,000 visitors.
For a minimum of £25 per share, you can help support this venture
You can apply for Cultybraggan Camp 21 Bunkhouse Community Shares at our Microgenius webpage. Microgenius offers an easy, secure electronic way of buying community shares, and keeping track of them. By buying shares using Microgenius, you are saving us time and reducing the workload. Payment is taken via a one off direct debit when the share offer closes successfully.
For other methods of payment, please contact the CDT Office.
Cultybraggan Heritage Self-Catering Society Limited is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. This share offer is to buy shares in the Society and raise the funds to secure the future of these important buildings. A Community Benefit Society is a democratic structure with open and voluntary membership: one member: one vote. Because any surplus profits go to the Trust, shareholders will also need to join Comrie Development Trust (no membership fee), to ensure they have a say in how these proceeds are invested.
More information on this project can be found by following the links below:
1. Cultybraggan Camp 21 Bunkhouse Share Offer Document
2. Cultybraggan Camp 21 Bunkhouse Business Plan
3. Community Benefit Society Rules & Regulations
4. Cultybraggan Share Offer Presentation
If you would like to speak to someone about the Community Shares Offer – please contact the CDT Office on 01764 670769 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org