Alloa is buzzing with community life and activities. The town centre has lots of useful charities and organisations that can help you as residents or visitors. Right in the heart of the town is the Speirs Centre which is both the main county library, registrar and archives of the area. Built by the former liberal-minded mill owners, as a swimming pool and recreation centre for their workers, it is the ideal place for anyone to start on their journey round the town. There you can find out family history information or grab a leaflet on the heritage, walks and wellbeing activities on offer in the town and around the Wee County.

 

Situated further down the town just off Mar Street, the Connect Centre provides a base for two important charities aimed at helping local people and those new to life in Clacks: Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSI) who will offer information on volunteering, community groups and activities around the county. Clackmannanshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau provide welfare support and help on any financial or legal issues.

 

Following round on Burgh Mews, you will come to Bank Street which houses more important local charities including Clackmannanshire Tenants’ and Residents’ Association which will help with any landlord or tenants’ association issues and they share an office with our local Clackmannanshire Credit Union which offer loans and saving options for local people and businesses. Also on Bank Street the national mental health charity Wellbeing Scotland are based, with APEX and Unison.

 

At the end of Mar Street, Ochil View Housing Association has its main office where applications or issues can be can be made for their tenancies.

 

The town also houses some great bargain shops supporting more valued local and national charities like Strathcarron Hospice, Homestart Clacks, Wellbeing Scotland, British Red Cross, Salvation Army, Marie Curie and Sense. The full list can be found in the Buy the Good Stuff leaflet produced by CTSI.

 

Entertainment is brought throughout the year to Alloa Town Hall including the amazing Forefront Stage School based in the town centre, providing stage, dance and singing training for all ages. The annual pantomime and summer musicals are big hits involving hundreds of young people every year and thousands fill the seats locally. More information can be found at. Dance Royals, based in the Liberal Club on Mar Street also offer summer clubs, dance lessons and personal training. Many of the local stage, music and dance groups are involved in the annual Christmas Lights event which is a special family day enjoyed by everyone.

 

Finally Alloa is famous for its amazing array of churches, some of which dated back hundreds of years and boast wonderful stained glass and interesting building features and stonework. These include Alloa Elim, Alloa Ludgate, St Mungos RC, and St Mungos Parish. Moncrieff Church on Bedford Place, opposite the Sheriff Court also has a wonderful secret garden open to the public enjoy – so when the shopping day is over, pop along for restful moment of peace.

Living Alloa Project

Over the last two years, Alloa First and CTSI have been working closely with Clackmannanshire Council on the Living Alloa project (Living Alloa Project (clacks.gov.uk) which aims to help regenerate Alloa town centre to help local people, visitors and the new older residents who will be moving into the Kingdom Housing Association Primrose Street housing development.

The regeneration work aims to make the town centre safer, easier to walk around and socialise in and includes the improvement of the passageway through by the TSB bank, crossing at King Street, linkage through to Forth Valley College and improve the socialising area just off Bank Street. It also includes the redevelopment of the former toilets at Maple Court to be a new Alloa Hub.

Alloa Hub – Innovative Community Ownership

The Alloa Hub will be a first for Clackmannanshire as it will be operated by a newly-established Community Benefit Society (or Ben-com) which local residents and businesses can own shares in. Ben-coms are now prevalent around Scotland and allow local people to own their community assets and run them to help improve their local communities. There are examples of community shops, distilleries, railway lines and wind farms all using this model.

Help the Economic Recovery of Clackmannanshire

For Alloa and Clackmannanshire the new Alloa Hub will offer a range of services including an active travel hub and bike workshop, a flexible space for hiring out to local groups, local tourist information point as well as a shop selling locally-made goods. It will also display the new five-panel Clackmannanshire Tapestries designed by Andrew Crummy, who is the designer behind the Great Tapestry of Scotland and are currently being stitched by volunteers around Clackmannanshire (for more details go to Clackmannanshire Tapestries here). The venue will hopefully have bike and walking groups running from it for tourists and help drive the recovery and economic development of the area.  The venue will also include a large changing places, disabled toilet and shower for bikers.

Owned by local people – for local people!

Work will start on the building in summer 2021 and the share option will be open to anyone from late September onwards. The shares will cost just £20 each and by purchasing a share local people can have a direct involvement in helping with the running costs of the Hub and a say in how it will operate in the future. Shareholders will also hopefully receive interest in the future on their investment. The Council will not be involved after the building development and so your help and small investment by purchasing shares will be crucial. It will be owned by local people for local people!

For more information, please contact Anthea Coulter at anthea.coulter@ctsi.org.uk or Diane Brown at diane@alloafirst.co.uk for more information and how you can get involved and be part of this new and exciting economic revival development for Clackmannanshire.