Monday, 25 July 2011

Frequently Asked Questions...

There are a number of very reasonable, recurring questions that folk have been asking us about the campaign, we'll keep adding to this as we go...keep em coming...

Where can I get paper copies of the petition?
You can download a copy to print off right here.

Where do I hand them in?
Greenock - You can drop them off at The Volunteer Centre in Westburn Centre, 175 Dalrymple Street, (right across from Tescos car Park)

Port Glasgow - You can drop them off at 7 1/2 John Wood Street.
We do not currently have a pick up / drop off in Gourock, we'd love to hear from you if you can help us out there.

How can I help?
Mostly by helping us keep awareness up by sharing the page, petition and blog.

You could also volunteer to take a stack of petitions away to get them signed. (we will provide these for you). To arrange that, you can contact us at

You could email your local councillor or MSP and let them know how you feel, politely and in your own words.

If you are a performer, you could enter our Celebration Ode online battle of the bands

We are currently trying to organise a few events throughout August, we'll let you know about this as soon as possible, and maybe you can help us out with those as well...

Who is running this campaign?
The campaign was initiated by local heritage group Magic Torch, we first came together in 1999, at the time of the last Tall Ships and have worked to promote and celebrate local heritage ever since. Many more local people have been helping us since the start of this campaign.

What do you hope to achieve?
We want to stimulate a debate on the use of the Sugar Sheds, convince the local regeneration agency that the community do care what happens in their community spaces and that by working with that enthusiasm, we can achieve far better results and impacts than we ever could working alone. We want the community to have a meaningful place at the table in terms of this local regeneration, and ultimately, to see space in the Sugar Sheds given specifically for community usage across a range of ideas and areas, from galleries, to music venues and markets.

Is there a sound business case for this proposal?
Nope. Not yet. Is there a sound business case for the current regeneration proposal? If so, how is that any more definitively workable than what we are suggesting here. Frequently changing financial markets and economies mean that investment opportunities are more challenging to pin down. This is the difficulty facing all regeneration initiatives. Some areas have chosen to grapple with this by more actively involving community groups and organisations, as this opens up avenues for funding, tax and rate relief which may not be available to developers. We would want to work with the URC on being part of a sound business proposal. We have formally requested a meeting with members of the board.

Isn't the new Arts Guild (The Beacon) going to be our new community venue?
The Beacon is an excellent development, and in fact it is a good example of local agencies and a community organisation working collaboratively to make something big happen. However first and foremost, it is a theatre space. It would not offer the sorts of opportunities for bands, markets, large scale gallery installations etc. We do not see the two spaces as mutually exclusive, however we do think they could work brilliantly together.

Who would run the building?
Well as it stands, the building is owned by James Watt Dock LLP. We are optimistic, upbeat folk...but we are not naive enough to hope that the building would just be given to the community or Magic Torch to "do things" with it. Certainly, there are many successful examples and legal models for community ownership of buildings...but at this stage, what we are asking for is for the community to be actively involved in the current regeneration proposals, that the space be given over to some community usage over the next few months, and that longer term this would lead to dedicated community space within the Sugar Sheds. There are many formal structures community groups and organisations can adopt to help them manage and resource themselves effectively, these could be explored as appropriate, involving a wide range of community membership.

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