STEP will manage a new business hub in 2018, which will be based at the former Kildean Hospital site in Raploch, Stirling.
Raploch Urban Regeneration Company Ltd has been awarded £900,000 of Scottish Government funding, via the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, which will provide a new beginning for the former Kildean Hospital site on Drip Road. The site, which was previously used as a day hospital and latterly as office accommodation for healthcare staff, was vacated by NHS Forth Valley in early 2013. Since then the health board has been working closely with the local community to find a new use for the accommodation. This resulted in Raploch URC being granted a short-term lease to move into the main building in late 2014.
In July 2016, working in partnership with Forth Housing Association, and supported by NHS Forth Valley and James F Stephen Architects, Raploch URC Limited submitted a proposal to the Scottish Government to create the Kildean Employability and Enterprise Hub, bringing all three buildings (the main building and two former wards) back into permanent use. Confirmation of funding of £900,000 was received on 9th March 2017, with the work planned to be complete by spring 2018.
The planned new Hub will become a base for third sector and voluntary organisations who will provide support to individuals through employment and skills training, also providing links and access to associated support services. Forth Housing Association plan to relocate their office to the site alongside Raploch URC and capacity for other third sector organisations to either access on-site facilities or relocate to the site will be available.
In addition, one of the ward buildings will be converted into 11 office spaces designed to accommodate small or start-up businesses. STEP will manage these facilities when they become available from spring 2018 onwards, as well as providing businesses with access to advisers and business support products.
Built in 1904, Kildean Hospital is a listed building of significant architectural importance and sits on an attractive riverside site on Drip Road in the heart of Raploch.
Harry Deerin, Chair of Raploch URC Limited said:
“The refurbishment of the former Kildean Hospital site will provide a huge benefit for both the Raploch and wider Stirling areas. Creating a permanent base for Raploch URC will also allow us to continue the important work we do in supporting local people into employment. In addition, the refurbished buildings will allow us to expand the work we do with other key local agencies, with a more joined up approach to providing support for our customers.”
Alex Linkston, Chair of NHS Forth Valley, said: “We are delighted that one of our former healthcare premises is to be used for such a worthwhile development. These plans will not only see the buildings return to playing an important role at the heart of the community but will also improve the overall health and wellbeing of local people through increased employment and training opportunities.”