The Hall was built to serve the communities living around the loch from Red Point to Rubha Reidh, acting as a hub which caters for large and small events, meetings, activities and services which would otherwise not be available locally. The hub also rents rooms to the local community newspaper, a Vet surgery, the local youth club and storage for Occupational Therapy. The shop premises is let to a Hairdresser and local Wedding Accessory business and the Hall toilets are open to the public, daily, all year round. The Hall, a Company Limited by Guarantee, SC436233, and a Charity, SC006465, is managed by a dedicated group of community volunteers and loyal fundraisers.
Erected in 1973 as a multi¬functional building, the Hall’s original purpose was to provide extra facilities for the local High School pupils assembly/sports hall, dining room and school kitchen. There were changing rooms in the basement area and public toilets at the end of the building. The ‘shop’ area was the Tourist Information Centre. Members of the local community were able to use the facilities in the evenings, weekends and at holiday times. When the present High School was built in 1996 the Hall was gifted to the community.
Unlike purpose built village halls Gairloch Hall is difficult to manage but it is well used and over the years the members of the Management Committee have worked hard to modernise it. A small Hall was built onto the rear of the building, at first for children of pre-school age, and now a smaller hall used for a variety of activities.
Over the years the acoustics have been improved in the main hall which has greatly helped when musical and dramatic events take place. A full fire and smoke detection system was installed and an external storage unit installed. The stage had new curtains and stage lighting and the main kitchen has been completely refitted. In 2014 the Highland Council planned to close the Public Toilets so the Hall committee now manages these too with an annual Comfort Scheme Grant from Highland Council to help with costs.
Keeping the hall modern and vibrant will always provide a challenge to the community management and volunteers are always needed! The roof started leaking badly last year resulting in a funding campaign entitled ‘Everything under one Roof’. The result was successful enough to replace the roof, the Vet’s surgery room to be upgraded, the shop premises modernised and a loft room converted into a well equipped meeting space. The next project is to make the hall more accessible for the disabled.
And then, in March 2020, COVID 19 arrived resulting in the Hall closing its doors to the community for the first time!
Gairloch Community Hall - Everything Under One Roof Project
This project would not have been possible without grant funding.