Other current and recent projects

Lochwinnoch Business Network

The Lochwinnoch Business Network was formed at the end of 2023 to bring together traders and businesses located within Lochwinnoch to address the typical challenges currently being faced in many small towns and villages with regards to declining customer numbers and sales. Whilst some retail outlets have closed, new businesses have move in and so now is seen to be an ideal time to take action to let people know what is on offer and attract back lost customers.

Already the group have identified opportunities and are developing plans to raise the profile of Lochwinnoch and increase awareness of both shops and businesses operating in the village. The group will be working closely with the Lochwinnoch Online initiative and supporting each other’s efforts.

Lochwinnoch Online

 A key to success in the continual development of the Lochwinnoch community is through the engagement and involvement of all residents to either lead, or take part and benefit from the many activities that are available to support many of the local people. Communication is seen as vital to the success of this programme.

The website is dedicated to the village of Lochwinnoch and the immediate surrounding area. This will provide ongoing support to the community in various ways:

  • Externally, “sell” the village and it’s attractions e.g. Castle Semple sailing club and country park, and the adjacent RSPB sanctuary, to boost the tourism and visitors that will help support the small but developing trade in the centre of the village,
  • Provide the opportunity for local traders and businesses to advertise the range of shops, restaurants, pubs etc available to visitors and residents of the village,
  • Advise residents of the variety of services available to them,
  • Maintain a calendar of activities and provide details of community groups providing support, regular sessions and events within the village,
  • Keep the community updated on the general activities going on within the village,
  • Providing information relating to the work and success of the Lochwinnoch Community Development Trusts various projects that are ongoing,
  • Make the residents aware of the progress of potential projects that the LCDT are investigating that could be of significant benefit to the community as a whole e.g. taking over the local Parish Church that the Church of Scotland intends to sell,
  • Highlighting to the wider public (and potential funders) the wide range of activities and support that the community is organising for itself that is worthy of greater support.

We would hope that in the long-term the cost of maintaining this website will be covered from ongoing revenue, but whilst the benefits can be visualised, until the site becomes better used and is perceived to be meeting the objectives as hoped for above, we will continue to seek finance and undertake additional fund-raising activities.

Lochwinnoch Men’s Shed

The need for Lochwinnoch Men’s Shed was initially identified through community consultation undertaken in relation to our Lochhead Social Garden Project, and subsequently confirmed through our Winter Warm Spaces Project.

The primary purpose of this project is to give individuals an opportunity to socialise and take part in activities that will enable them to  develop various skills and use these for the benefit of the community when such opportunities present themselves.

Though officially called Lochwinnoch’s Men’s Shed, the constitution does not discriminate to any gender. The Men’s Shed is a fully inclusive group – everyone’s welcome, though the emphasis has traditionally been on the need for men to have their space. New recruits are most welcome.

We have been successful in our application to the Renfrew Councils “Mental Health and Wellbeing fund and have £5,000 available towards the purchase of cabin to be the home of the group. We will be active in looking for additional funds to bolster the pot to help us acquire a cabin of a suitable size.

Winter connections (2023/24)

 These projects have been supported from the Renfrewshire Council Winter Connections scheme.

  • Youth group
    • This project focused on providing in-door physical activity and entertainment for youngsters from within Lochwinnoch. The weekly sessions will align perfectly with the first three principles through: offering physical activities to young individuals, free of charge.
    • The sessions were be overseen by supervisory staff within a centre that provides sports activities aimed at all age groups.
  • Teenagers workshop
    • A selection of creative workshops including:
    • Scottish themed Magazine Strip Art
    • Soap making
    • Make your own Bird Feeder
    • Candle Pour
    • Make your own twig candle holder
    • Learn about the benefits of Essential Oils and make your own roller ball.
  • Men’s Shed
    • The regular programme of meetings for the participants in the Men’s Shed project was been disrupted due to the availability of the premises that they were using. It is anticipated that new premises will become available in the spring/summer of 2024 but until these are established we wanted to provide the opportunity for the members to continue to meet on a regular weekly basis to ensure that the basic project objectives can be maintained, to provide a space for individuals to meet and build friendships, to help overcome the potential for individuals becoming isolated.

Warm spaces (2022/23)

The Warm Spaces Network ran from mid November 2022 through to March 2023 (20 weeks). It consisted of 3 hour sessions at 5 venues (7 sessions a week) across Lochwinnoch, offering 420 hours of warm spaces. Each venue had a Warm Spaces Facilitator, offering a warm welcome and providing activities and conversation.

There were four main aims for our Warm Spaces Network:

  1. Create warm spaces for all
  2. Decrease social isolation and loneliness by creating inclusive activities
  3. Support local establishments, enabling them to meet the running costs
  4. Supporting local employment

For 2023/4 this initiative was replaced by the Winter Connections programme.