Crossroads Community Hub using the banner of “Ayrshire Food from Ayrshire Folk” aims to regenerate the local community through initiating the first community- led farm shop, complete with an integral social/educational centre, in Scotland. Its aim is to enable people in East Ayrshire and the wider community to access produce from farmers, growers and local suppliers and to encourage a deeper understanding of local food production and rural life for the long term benefit of the community.
The business plan will address sharing facilities and spreading costs among the three sections of the building so that suppliers, customers and the community all receive a “fair deal”. By supporting this social enterprise venture, local people and visitors to Ayrshire will also be helping to support local farmers and growers and the whole community
A Farm Shop
This will retail local produce from high quality growers, farmers and individual smallholders, opening up produce to a wider market and reducing food miles. It will provide information on producers and tell the story of how food is produced, where the food has come from and the standards it has met before reaching the shop. It will create jobs and volunteering opportunities to build learning, skills and employability. New producers will be encouraged to use the facility as an outlet for quality local produce.
Building on the customer base attracted to the farm shop, we plan to create a destination place for both local people and visitors that will offer good quality cafe food with a health focus. We have undertaken a full feasibility study and study visits and have a plan of what will work. Not only will this generate income and jobs, it will also create a social hub for the community. We hope that Crossroads Hub will be accessible to all and become a destination to meet friends, or simply enjoy locally produced food or a coffee.
A Social Space
The building will reflect the size and needs of the community and will have a multi-use community space to host community groups. Some great ideas came from the consultation meetings, in December 2013 and January 2014, ranging from groups regenerating rural crafts, a crèche or soft play area to allow parents to shop , after school clubs or a space for teenagers to “meet, relax and chill ” in the evening
The Surrounding Area
The village of Crossroads (KA1 5JQ) lies in the centre of 6 rural parishes and is surrounded by rolling farmland. It is at the junction of the A76 (Kilmarnock to Dumfries) and A 719 (Darvel to Ayr) and is 4 miles from the M77 which is the main motorway link to Glasgow and Edinburgh. A network of roads and paths will be established for walking or cycling from the Hub as a base to encourage people to appreciate the local countryside and wildlife.