A three-year search for a new home for the Lossie 2-3 Group has ended in a building that has been abandoned for nearly 10 years.
The childcare group expanded its mission during the Covid pandemic to help alleviate poverty and hardship in the town.
However, they faced a plight of their own at the same time when their home in the former community centre was demolished as part of the new secondary school project.
After three years searching and in temporary bases, the 2-3 Group now has a permanent home after establishing the new Lossie Community Hub in the former Warehouse Theatre.
Former Warehouse Theatre in Lossiemouth
Lossiemouth Community Hub today
Lossie 2-3 Group brings abandoned building back into use
When the Lossiemouth 2-3 Group got the keys for the former Warehouse Theatre it still had the old lighting that was used for performances.
Campaigners initially set up a makeshift charity shop in the darkness to raise vital funds for the ambitious project.
Donations, coupled with £600,000 in funding grants, have now transformed the building into a bright and spacious venue for childcare for up to 15 youngsters.
It is now hoped what was once home to curtains and a stage can help provide relief to families in Lossiemouth.
Yvonne Murray, chairwoman of the 2-3 Group, said: “The before and after-school care is going to be affordable, because there’s a childcare crisis at the moment in Moray.
“There is such a current high need in Lossiemouth. We have some vulnerable families here so it’s good for them not to have to travel somewhere else.”
More work planned for Lossie Community Hub
Childcare has already started at the Lossiemouth Community Hub but more work is planned for the building.
A second phase of the project will transform the former bar upstairs, which is frozen in time from when the theatre closed with pint glasses still on shelves.
It is hoped the upper floor will become a venue for cooking lessons in a kitchen funded by the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation with a small counselling room and larger room available for other groups to use.
There are also plans to install solar panels on a new roof as well as fit a new stair lift.
Louise McBride, community development officer for the Lossiemouth Community Hub and 2-3 Group, said: “One of the things we want to do is ask the community what they would like to run here. We want it to be led by the community.”