Highland village hall struggles to find a builder for refurbishments

Ewen Maclean at the village hall in Ardgour who are desperate for a contractor to do work on their toilets.
Ewen Maclean at the village hall in Ardgour who are desperate for a contractor to do work on their toilets.

A north community who want to spend a penny on new loos are struggling to find anyone willing to take on the work.

Ardgour Memorial Hall, in rural Lochaber, seems destined to never get its toilets renovated despite finding funding, obtaining planning and having the full support of the community.

For at least a decade residents of Ardgour have been desperate to find funding to renovate the dilapidated toilets in the community hall.

A quantity surveyor initially priced the job at more than £100,000, a daunting target for the small community proving to be unattainable despite applications to multiple sources.

The hall committee then made the decision to focus their efforts on the run down entrance porch and male toilets.

Not a single tender came back within the group’s budget.

Once again the committee returned to the drawing board, this time altering the plans for a more traditional rectangular shape, losing a few features and getting various community members on board to take on work or donate materials.

This time a sole tender contractor was found, but later withdrew saying they were unable to now complete the work.

“We really do not know where to go from here,” said Ewen Maclean, the chairman of the hall committee.

“Each time we thought we had done enough and approached the project sensibly and professionally but it seems we just cannot get over that final hurdle”.

On top of not being able to find a contractor there is now a real risk of the hall losing the funding as the designated timeframe runs out.

“To have that happen would be a disaster. The hall committee have put many voluntary hours into this and spent precious monetary reserves getting plans drawn. So to have it all just collapse would be an incredible waste of resources”.

In a desperate attempt to not lose the funding, and get the toilets built, the committee is therefore appealing to building contractors far and wide.

“It is not such a big job that a one person contractor can’t take it on so we really are looking to hear from anyone who is interested”.