Community Survey Launched for Newton Stewart’s Grapes Hotel Redevelopment Plans

The former Grapes Hotel in Newton Stewart sits in the heart of the town on Victoria Street. The building has lain empty for many years and has fallen into a state of disrepair, becoming something of an eyesore on Newton Stewart’s main street. However, the community in Newton Stewart is mobilising to bring the building back to life and unlock its potential to benefit the town.

Newton Stewart Initiative (NSI), working in partnership with South of Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH) is undertaking a feasibility study for the purchase and development of the site. The vision is to create much needed affordable housing on the upper floors. The commercial space on the ground floor could provide a new home for the NSI Community Shop, enabling it to deliver more for the community.

NSI currently operates Vibe 75 as a community hub and is exploring a Community Asset Transfer of the Old Town Hall (the Town Clock building). This will become the organisation’s Administration Base and will raise the Initiative’s presence within the community. Along with the former Grapes Hotel, community ownership of these core buildings will place local people in control of the town’s future and build momentum for further improvement of the town centre.

Ownership of the Grapes Hotel building and its redevelopment will only happen if the community supports it. NSI would like to know whether residents support this, and to gather views on how the building could be restored to meet the community’s needs. Residents can have their say by completing a community survey: online at bit.ly/TheGrapesHotel , or by picking up a paper copy at Vibe 75 or the Newton Stewart Community Shop in Dashwood Square. The community can also drop in to Vibe 75 on Thursday 23rd May at any point between 3-5pm and 6.30 – 8.30 pm for a chance to hear more and to share their views.

Other communities across Scotland have embraced community-led ownership of local assets; Glentrool is a local example of just this. However, it is not without its challenges and requires significant local support, so it is imperative that residents and regular visitors to Newton Stewart give their feedback.

Please take the survey today: bit.ly/TheGrapesHotel

Latest Articles