CatStrand provides an arts and social centre for New Galloway, Scotland’s smallest Royal Burgh, and the surrounding villages in the beautiful Glenkens in Galloway. Our arts programme features nationally renowned artists and includes all genres of music e.g. Blazing Fiddles, Ricky Ross, Zoe Rahman, theatre and comedy e.g. Fred MacAuley. CatStrand is also home to an award-winning Youth Theatre. Social activities range from Zumba dancing to knit & blether, from Pilates to IT Workshops. For many, young and old, in this widely scattered population, CatStrand is a vital part of their lives. Also, this autumn CatStrand will be 10 years old and we plan to hold a celebration to mark all we have achieved so far and hope to continue to do in years to come.
But we are under threat.
Running through the grounds and under the CatStrand building is the CatStrand Burn, which is usually a quiet, small stream. However when the weather turns and extremely heavy rain falls onto already saturated ground the burn is liable to escalate into a flood, dealing catastrophic damage to the CatStrand, and with an average annual rainfall of approximately 1191mm, this is a real and current issue for us. And, with the ever more drastic consequences of climate change, this is only set to get worse. In January 2015 the extent of the damage was so critical that it forced us to close for almost a year, and although insurance could assist with the costs, the shortfall plus betterment cost us around £25,000. We also had to spend around £5,000 on a formal flood risk assessment report. Although we have successfully obtained this money through donations and funding, we do not have the vital resources for the next stage of flood management. There is also another problem: although the insurance was able to assist us in the past, the next flood we suffer will signal the end of that coverage and after that point we will have to face any other floods on our own without a safety net.
Together we will fight back.
We have recently completed work on a new grating system for the burn, with the assistance of Dumfries and Galloway Council, to prevent any debris causing blockages, which will help to solve some of the problems that we were having.
We have also installed flood gates to the doors around the sides of the CatStrand to help prevent water entering the building, and these are being put into action regularly as a precaution. However, the gates take time to mobilise and rely on an accurate forecast so that they can be set up in advance.
The final stage of our flood defence is the most critical to our safety and the continuation of our services. We are planning to construct a flood management system so that if the burn does flood, we can reroute the water safely around the building, preventing a repeat of the extensive damage caused previously.
We Need Your Help
The architect’s plans for the new flood management system have been drawn up for us free of charge by one of our board members. We have also been fortunate enough to have access to the services of a locally-based structural engineer/flood advisor at reduced fees, but the money for the actual construction of the flood management system is out of our reach at this time.
This is why we need your help. We have calculated that £49000 will be enough to cover all of the costs of construction. Following an anonymous donation of £5000 before the commencing of a campaign this target has been adjusted to £44000. We hope to raise approximately two thirds of this through our crowdfunding campaign, whilst also raising money in our local area to cover the difference.
For more information visit our website at http://www.catstrand.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for any donation that you can make. Please join us in our quest to safeguard CatStrand’s future.