“We have loads of very active community groups in Coupar Angus and through the Coupar Angus Regeneration Trust (CART) which was set up in 1999, we’ve carried out a wide range of projects that have greatly improved the look and amenity of the town” says Jill Davies, part-time project manager with CART.
More recently, CART has embarked on an ambitious project to create an arts and business incubation centre in the former Culross print works which closed down in November 2012, with the entire workforce made redundant.
The print works which is said to have been built on the site of an old monastery, housed Coupar’s Angus’s first printing press and was established in 1835 by William Culross. Described as an “unremarkable brick building”, the property is now in the hands of the Royal Bank of Scotland and, says Jill Davies, the process of finding out if CART might be able to acquire it has been “painfully slow.”
She says: “We’ve spent a lot of time researching the site and the possibilities for its use and would love to arrange for a visit when the community could get inside for a look around and say what they would like it to be used for.
“There are so many people in the area working as artists and crafters who need studios and space for making glass and dying wool etc. So the print works could be ideal for them and would also provide an exhibition area.
“There could also be space for business incubation units and a flexible area for holding a Jelly* on a regular basis to give the many self-employed people in the area who work on their own, the opportunity to get together to chat and pool advise, information and experiences and even discuss ideas.”
*Jelly – who knew it meant something other than the stuff you can eat?! According to wikipedia, Jelly is “an informal co-working event where freelancers, home workers and small/micro business owners bring their laptop or other work and work, chat and collaborate with other small business owners.
Jelly differs from networking in that the aim is not to find new clients or to sell yourself or your business.” But is it “a” Jelly? Or is it just “Jelly”? Do you say: “We are going to Jelly”? or “We are going to hold ‘a’ Jelly”? Whatever . . . the Jelly movement (geddit? jelly? movment?) started in New York in 2006 and in the UK in 2009 and there are now Jelly groups meeting up regularly all over the place.