The long-term plan for Macaulay College is to ensure better facilities for service users and the wider community. In September 2021 we were awarded a grant from Scottish Government Adapt & Thrive Funding for year’s salary to allow an experienced staff member to take on the role as Development Officer, to start to bring identified development needs into place.
Our main plans are shown below and key development areas include; developing student activities and accreditation opportunities, further developing links with other organisations through the use of artists residencies, establishing Macaulay College as a community resource through charged for group visits and artists workshops. Developing accessible woodland infrastructure to create a sensory garden and sculpture trail, raising our social media profile and creating an online shop to sell student art, craft and farm produce.
We plan to have our first ever fundraising programme starting later this year in-order to raise awareness of Macaulay College and funds for our extension. Our wish is to ensure that the legacy of what is achieved through our development plans and aspirations is long lasting and that we have the opportunity, to continue to progress, develop, innovate and move forward, to secure long term business.
We also wish to generate greater income more independently through produce sales, art/craft products, live animal/meat sales and artist residency/schools visits/workshops. Students experience a sense of pride and self-worth to see their products for sale and know they are contributing. We have recently expanded our candle production, made our first calendar and are expanding student art work to develop art prints, t-shirts, hoodies etc.
Our students and staff really appreciate every donated amount, as it goes to improving the lives of everyone at Macaulay College.
MAIN BUILDING EXTENSION
Our major plan for the near future is a new, fit-for-purpose building extension. Having a fit-for-purpose building will mean that we can increase capacity and provide for a diverse range of needs. The new building would house the following:
Meeting Room/Quiet room
Chill out area with sofas/ Music room
Large open plan space to include: Canteen/games area/project space
Two toilets (one with specialised disabled access facilities)
Large cloakroom area with sinks
Specialised project space e.g. pottery/art
Front and rear disabled access
Decking at front door
We have the planning permission for the building expansion (which will double our capacity), the architect is preparing plans to submit for Building Warrant and the next stage is securing funding for it.
WOODLAND AREA AND FUTURE SENSORY GARDEN
Planted in 2019 with a team of students, staff and volunteers. The trees within are native woodland, mixed species and are surrounded by hedging. Designed to include a future accessible pathway, this area will provide an opportunity for the healing therapy of being immersed in the outdoors, a sense of escapism and shelter.
The path meanders around the outside giving a feeling of travelling a greater distance into the woods. It emerges into a large clearing in the centre which will be heavily planted and decorated to create a beautiful sensory experience. There will be instruments to play and a fire to sit by.
This layout is developed with people with profound needs in mind, including the very old and very young who are unable to access adventures in the deep woods but would benefit from such adventures none the less. It is completely sealed and relatively risk free so people can stray from the path if they wish. Its size will make it ideal for groups needing a quick dip into an immersive green space. It would allow people to access the healing effects of being out in nature, a place to sit, to meditate, especially for those who might not have access to green spaces.
During lockdown we applied for funding from the Charities Aid Foundation and National Lottery Awards for All to create 2 (12 x 6m) timber buildings for socially distanced workspaces and animal care areas. These buildings have become invaluable and allowed us to operate safely while restrictions have been in place.
They have created a great chance for students to get up close to the animals in comfortable, dry surrounds e.g. when the piglets arrive. In order to improve these buildings we have received funding from Business Gateway and a sizeable private donation that allow us to take electricity up to these buildings. We are also improving them by insulating and plywood lining them.
These buildings will become a venue for group visits e.g. school and Nursery classes and Artists Residency Workshops that will eventually be open to the wider community.