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Scottish Cooperative Discovery & Activity Centre

West Calder


RIBA Stage 3 - Planning


£4 million


West Calder & Harburn Community Development Trust


National Lottery Funding, Regeneration Capital Grant Funding, Historic Environment Scotland.

Collective Architecture were appointed in 2022 to lead a team to deliver the design for conversion of the Old Cooperative Bakery building, incorporating part demolition, retention, and part conversion, with potential new build interventions to bring the building back into use for the local community and visitors.

The design team is focusing on a Fabric First approach while making sure that the building will provide for the needs of the community in the long term. Most of the building area internally will be re-purposed to be an exhibition space focusing on the heritage of the cooperative movement locally and nationally with a visual and hands-on experience for the visitors.

The Old Bakery Building is of great historical and emotional significance to the local community. It is a physical emblem of a still very relevant and important heritage. The project will bring a significant heritage asset back into meaningful use, record and preserve local history, and improve the community’s engagement in its heritage.

The Design Team with West Calder & Harburn Community and Development Trust are focusing on creating a space to come together, to socialise and a place to visit making West Calder more of a destination for visitors from out with the community.

The building will offer a place to enjoy family meals or a coffee with friends; we will offer community and youth space with a focus on interactive learning as well as taking people through the history of both local and national co-operation. We will celebrate West Calder as a key place in the Scottish co-operative movement and explore its relevance in the world today as a tool for communities to address future challenges such as inequality and climate change.

The building will be a truly family-friendly destination celebrating the local identity, place and heritage of West Calder. Targeting a national and local interest we will offer opportunities to local people and businesses making this community space accessible to a wide audience of people with additional support needs. There are many unique original features which will be maximised in the design of the space. The key focus is to future-proofing while preserving history. We aim to create a space that is adaptable and easy to navigate and access. We will maximise the potential of the spaces by investing in the right design moves to accommodate adaptability and potential future developments.

The overall proposed layout generously provides for support spaces and gallery spaces. The arrangement allows for a more sensitive approach to the existing shell, enabling a sensible phasing of build and great flexibility within the overall development of spaces and their use. This way we can future-proof through design, exploring various scenarios of potential future uses of the building.

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