Future Developments at Craigiebank Parish Church
Despite the physical problems with the fabric of the church building outlined in the history, the church has strong desire to retain its physical presence in the community, and has a long history and affection connected with the present location. As the 1918 master plan was not completed, the community facilities which had been planned were never realised, and there remains an evident lack of facilities in the area other than the church itself.
Over and above the inherent problems with the building fabric, it is felt that the current church building is not suited for multi-functional use to best serve the community. There is both a demand and a vision for provisions which could benefit the local community, which could not be fully realised within the current premises. The worsening condition of the interior decoration is continuing the problem of both loss of church members and reduced use of the premises for weddings and other revenue-raising purposes. In summary, it is felt that the existing building is not fit for purpose, and is not economical or practical to repair.
The feasibility study coducted by James F. Stephen Architects formed a recommendation for development (which was supported by Craigiebank Parish Church and the Craigiebank Association) consisting of:
- demolition of the existing church sanctuary
- creation of a multi-purpose community hall with large main hall, kitchen, lunch club area, offices and associated ancillary accommodation
- repair and refurbishment of the existing halls
- part of the grounds allocated to housing to help finance the development
The proposal incorporates at its heart a community church, but equally importantly a large multi-purpose space that the community can use for a wide variety of activities. The new sanctuary would comply with current Building Standards, and would be highly insulated and energy efficient to achieve minimal annual running costs. In the long run, this would save the church money; it is also hoped that this will visually improve such an important corner site.
The housing elements are deemed necessary for the project to work financially, but are designed to sit comfortably within the overall site grounds, and have appropriate levels of separation and privacy from the main building; housing was illustrated in the 1918 master plan which was never realised. Two local Housing Associations have recently been approached regarding the proposal, both of which are very interested in developing the designated housing sections.
Following lengthy discussions with Historic Scotland (who initially opposed the demolition due to the building's listed status), planning permission was sought from Dundee City Council in June 2011, and following substantial support from the community, was awarded in September 2011 and renewed in 2014. Documents, plans and images relating to the planning application are available on the Dundee City Council website (via the "View associated documents" button at the bottom of the page).
The sanctuary was decommissioned at a special service in June 2013. The organ was dismantled in October 2014 for future service in a church in Kazakhstan.
Plans are now underway to raise the expected £1.6 million necessary to fund the proposed development. The redevelopment project is called The Circle at Craigiebank.