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child playing in a ball pit
child playing in a ball pit

Providing real benefit to families in the Highlands

In 2004, a group of volunteers came together and established Kyle of Sutherland Youth Development Group. Its purpose was to address the lack of services for children and young people in the area. From humble beginnings running groups and activities in a converted double-decker bus, it progressed to a purpose-built facility called “The Hub”, which opened its doors in the summer of 2017. As well as being a place for young people to hang out The Hub is somewhere the whole community can enjoy. It is home to a fitness suite, café, soft play room, youth rooms, multi-use area and a second-hand donations stand.

Over a ten-year period, the group carried out extensive consultations with the local community to determine residents' needs and aspirations and develop a facility that everyone in the community could access. The consultation went hand in hand with a huge effort from the group to secure the funding to turn the dream of a multi-use intergenerational facility into a reality.

The E.ON Rosehall Community Fund played a key role in supporting the group. The group received an initial grant of £25K to contribute to stage one of building the facility, it then received a subsequent £24,850 to help cover/fund the professional fees for full design and RIBA Costs. The grants were a huge boost to the group, as it helped demonstrate to other funders that they had the full support of the local community, thus enabling them to leverage in the additional funds required.

The Hub was finally opened in in 2017. It currently employs two full time and four part-time members of staff. The paid staff members have the support of several volunteers, many of whom are using the opportunity to increase their skills in the anticipation they can move into paid employment. In 2017, the E.ON Rosehall Community Fund provided a further grant of £4,148 to support one of the part-time staff members.

The facility is open seven days a week, and the original children/youth groups still operate from the new facility alongside all the new amenities.

The core and income generating features will provide an accessible and affordable hub of activity and support for the Kyle of Sutherland, the surrounding areas and visitors. Through the implementation of activities, clubs, volunteering programme, training opportunities, employment and social enterprise, the project will support and encourage aspiration, well-being and engagement across all generations now and in the future.

This is an absolutely phenomenal achievement by a small a group of volunteers with a huge ambition. To see the project finally come to fruition after all these years of hard work and commitment is just amazing and we couldn’t have done it without the strength and support of our community backing us all the way 


Hayley Bangs, Chair of the project

The Hub may be just opened its doors, but the team behind it have ambitious plans for space and given their drive they will no doubt achieve them.