After consultation with hirers and users, Action Porty have closed Bellfield as a lettable space until further notice.
We have tried to do this in a way that is sensitive to the needs of our users and the wider community.
We will be keeping the situation under review. We hope to be taking bookings for events and classes that begin after June, but we will obviously have to respond to the evolving situation. Please do feel free to keep in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are actively exploring ways of helping the community during this difficult time. Any suggestions for how we can do this would be really welcome.
The Action Porty board will have further discussions on the financial position of the organisation during the closure, and the role of Action Porty within the community response to the virus.
On a happier note, we’d like to thank local lad, Kharim Mather (8 years old, P3) who made the wonderful model of Bellfield in our cover photo as part of his Towerbank Primary School home work. Here he is handing it over a few days ago. We think it is fantastic and look forward to displaying the work for all to see when Bellfield reopens.
Let’s all do what we can to help our community stay safe and well.
The Action Porty team
In January 2020, Action Porty signed the Communities Call for Action pledge – https://www.climateaction.scot/ In doing so we acknowledge that the world is facing a climate emergency, and that the time for action is right now.
Community groups across Scotland have a key role to play in tackling the climate crisis, and those signing the pledge call for more action from all levels of government and commit ourselves to action on the climate emergency.
We are aiming to complete the solar PV installed on the large hall roof in March 2020. We will be installing bike racks, and are exploring other ways of encouraging people to arrive by public transport, foot or on bike, unless they need specific other forms of transport.
There is so much more we need to do – including ensuring users of Bellfield are kept snug and warm without our heating the planet – so this is just a start.
This is Alastair Cameron’s fascinating personal perspective on the story of saving Bellfield , as given at an EICSP event on community buyouts on 12th October 2019.
His account includes the following fascinating snippets:
“Looking back, it now feels that things happened at breakneck speed . . .
“There was still a lot of naivety around. We thought three months would be fine to get things ready, and we would open after the new year . . .
“Does [what has happened at Bellfield since we opened] meet the community vision from that early meeting? Within the limitations of real life, I believe it does. There are a lot of ideas that haven’t been realised, and some will not. The buildings are a fantastic resource, with the wonderful worship space dating back to 1809 alongside very practical 1960s halls. But they have their limitations. Some of these can be tackled as soon as we have the funds – it’s vital that we improve the toilet facilities, for example. Others will take longer – we want the building to be the most accessible of its kind, but there is a one-metre height difference between the floor of the church space and that of the halls, which is not going to be easy to bridge.”
Read his full account here: Alastair Cameron – Bellfield Story, Action Porty, Land Reform and Community Buyouts in Scotland