Totnes Community Development Society has been awarded a £2,576,400 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore the Brunel Building. New facilities will also be added to make it a vibrant space for community enterprise, events and local services. The renovation has been designed by the community of Totnes as part of the Atmos Totnes process, and the extensive redevelopment of the old 8-acre Dairy Crest site.
Atmos Totnes as a whole will provide hundreds of jobs through the Brunel Building and over 7,000 sqm of enterprise for local businesses, alongside 99 affordable homes for local people and space for community activities. The Brunel Building is a well-loved entrance to Atmos Totnes and for many visitors to Totnes it is the first building they see as they step off the train.
Directors would like to thank the community, the projects contractors, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players. This represents a real commitment to a community-led process showing the value of heritage buildings in regeneration of the area, and the importance of training and job creation.
The redevelopment of the Atmos Totnes site including the Brunel Building will use the Community Labour Initiative model set-up by Totnes Community Development Society. This enables training and job creation throughout the development. The programme has been piloted by Totnes Community Development Society through the Elmhirst Building which the Society has brought back into working use in partnership with young people and volunteers in the community.
Totnes Community Development Society has worked with over 70 local contractors over the last three years in the development of the detailed plans for the Brunel Building, the pilot of the Community Labour Initiative training programme and for immediate works following transfer of the Mansion in the centre of Totnes into community management.
Totnes Community Development Society received planning permission for the scheme in 2017. It was one of the first schemes in the country to use a relatively new form of planning process – the Community Right to Build Order which completed with a local referendum. 86% voting in favour to the scheme receiving permission to build.