Who we are
The Cumbrae Community Development Company (CCDC) is a development trust, based on the Island of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, 10 minutes by ferry from Largs. CCDC was established in 2002, after a marsustained period of community-led action resulted in the salvation and sympathetic restoration of a magnificent local building – Garrison House – which is centrally located in the island’s only town of Millport.
The island was a very popular tourist destination during the 50s and 60s serving the people of Glasgow. Tourism and farming remain the main industries on the island today. There has, however, been a steady downturn in the island’s popularity and prosperity, a state of affairs being enthusiastically addressed by CCDC. Cumbrae is also the base for Sport Scotland’s National Water Sports Centre and for Field Studies Centre Millport.
CCDC is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. There are currently ten members of staff and nine volunteer directors involved in the company, and the number of volunteers attached to various sub-groups of the board is growing steadily.
What we do
Garrison House has significant civic, historical and architectural importance. But over the years, the building fell into disrepair, and was very badly damaged by fire in 2001. The local community wanted to redevelop the building, so CCDC was established initially to refurbish Garrison House for the benefit of the whole community and to this end they raised over £5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, North Ayrshire Council, Historic Scotland, Argyll and Islands Enterprises and the European Regional Development Fund for refurbishment.
The extensive renovations were completed in 2008 and involved major reconstruction, including the restoration of the 18th century external stonework and the sunken garden designed by the arts and crafts architect, Robert Weir Schultz. The interior of the building has been opened up to create a modern, light and airy space.
Garrison House is now a fully functional building, housing the Museum of the Cumbraes, the library, council offices, a GP surgery and dispensary, meeting space for hire and the Garrison Café. The aim is for CCDC and its associated companies was to become self-financing after five years; the lofty goal has now been achieved.
CCDC, following its success with Garrison House, has successfully expanded its remit and is now working with the community to identify ways forward for the sustainable development of the island through projects and initiatives that will boost the local economy and improve the quality of life of residents.
In 2009, with funding from LEADER (part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP), aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas) and in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and North Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development Services commissioned the writing of The Isle of Cumbrae Development Plan.