In 2020, a Grant Scheme award of £20,000 was given to the Trossachs Community Trust to install a renewable (biomass) heating and hot water supply at the site of an old school in Brig O’Turk, which will eventually be used as a new Community Visitor Centre, café and shop.
The building, which was once a local school, had been transferred to the community from Stirling Council as part of a Community Asset Transfer. This was a great boost for the local community, which had lost a local school, shop, tea room and post office in recent years.
Plans were in place to reopen the building as an educational visitor centre which would become a real hub for the community. However, the building would need to be modernised in order to be fit for purpose.
The Trossachs Community Trust strongly believed that they should lead by example with a sustainable source of heating, so the need to demonstrate that the building could be heated without using fossil fuels was of great importance.
The Trust’s application to the National Park Grant Scheme sought to replace the old mains electricity-powered heating and hot water with a renewable biomass heating supply. The installation of this would help the community to reduce running costs and carbon impact.
The National Park funds awarded to the community have helped to progress the much larger project, with benefits for both community development and rural regeneration.
With the biomass boiler now in place, the greater vision of an environmental and historical information and education hub can be developed. Building renovation is now underway with community input and fundraising in place for a Spring 2022 opening.