Young people in Dunblane are being given a boost to get into work with the help of almost £40,000 of lottery funding.

From the Stirling Observer 14 February 2018

Discover Dunblane BID, the group representing over 90 businesses in and around the town, has been awarded £39,000 for the next two years from the Big Lottery Young Start Fund. The grant will be used to launch a new programme supporting young people locally to make the transition from education to employment. The package includes provision for a support worker and a project base.

The new programme Skills 4 Life, a name chosen by high school pupils, will take over from the 'Education for Life and Work’ pilot project which ran for two years led by Discover Dunblane BID in partnership with Dunblane High School and Stirling Council. More than 5O young people from the school have already gained work experience with businesses and developed new skills in preparation for life after school. In several cases, businesses were so pleased with their placement experience the young people were offered paid employment.

During the two-year pilot, the project discussed with the community the disadvantage carried by a minority of the town's young people who do not have access to additional educational support away from school. The Discover Dunblane-led team is tackling the issue head on and say the affluence within the area "masks a poverty of ambition and inclusion". They say the award from the Big Lottery will help the pilot project move into a bigger, broader and community-based initiative.

The Skills4Life programme will create a new community base in the town, which will be young person led and open to all those taking part. The base will be the centre of operations of a new enterprise company run by the young people and, it is hoped, an avenue of employment will be created with local businesses.

Discover Dunblane BID will recruit an employability engagement facilitator to support the young people in identifying opportunities and developing a wider network of opportunities outside Dunblane. The base will also host workshops as well as training and networking events.

The project is designed for 16 year-olds intending to leave school and a smaller number of 17-19 year olds. Around 100 young people are expected to participate in the two years of the project. Discover Dunblane chair Tom Casey said: "This award from the Big Lottery provides an essential resource to make a real difference in preparing our young people for life after school. Dunblane businesses recognise this responsibility and the central role they play in supporting our rural community. We strongly believe that the project will offer a blueprint for other communities. "Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP, Keith Brown, said: "This is a fantastic community-based partnership initiative which will expand the opportunity for local young people to develop practical skills and work experience.”



Article from Stirling Observer 14 February 2018

Slaughterhouse staff, some with up to 40 years' service, were last week shown the door after their company collapsed

Liquidators turned up at DS (Slaughterhouse) Ltd, Dunblane, on Tuesday, February 6, and told the company's 11 employees that their employment was terminated with immediate effect. The devastated staff, mostly slaughterhouse operatives, were ordered to collect their personal belongings and leave the Stirling Road premises. One staff member said the employees were in shock and claimed that there had been no inkling of the impending liquidation. DS (Slaughterhouse) was incorporated in March, 1977 and had been run by the Stevenson family for many years. They provided slaughterhouse services for butchers across the Stirling area and as far away as Oban, but the Dunblane facility was operating only three days a week recently.

On November 24 last year at Stirling Sheriff Court, a petition was lodged by the Advocate General for Scotland, on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs, asking that the company be wound up by the Court and a liquidator appointed. Maureen Leslie, director of financial recovery, restructuring and debt advisory company MLM Solutions, which has offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, was appointed interim liquidator on January 26 and it was members of staff from MLM who went to the premises last Tuesday. An MLM spokesman said: "We quickly determined that there was no option but to close the facility and all staff were made redundant on that date. "We would like to thank the staff at DS (Slaughterhouse) for their help in bringing operations to an orderly closure. All outstanding deliveries will be honoured."

The staff member, who asked not to be named, said: "We had no idea whatsoever that this was going to happen. "Two people appeared and took us into a corridor and told us to collect our personal belongings and leave. They said the company had gone into liquidation and we would not get paid, as we usually did, on Friday. "Later we got a letter from the liquidators saying that we could apply for statutory redundancy money from the Government but there would be nothing from the company." He added: "People should have been made aware that the company was going to close. Had we been pre-warned then we could have looked out for other jobs or made other arrangements."

Alasdair Beaton, owner of Alexander Gray butchers. Upper Craigs, Stirling, who had done business DS (Slaughterhouse) since its inception, expressed regret at the closure of the facility. He said: "The loss of the slaughterhouse run by the Stevenson family for over 40 years will be felt by the farming and retail butchers over a wide area as a most efficient and professional service was much appreciated by all its users."

 1cb87e15d06c18034fbb631f14d2c6f3 S


9th February 2018 from The Scottish Farmer
Family-run abattoir closes in Dunblane
Zoe Wilson Print and online journalist

DUNBLANE'S only abattoir is to cease slaughter after being in the business for 40 years. Duncan Stevenson Ltd, which employs 12 members of staff, was said to have closed its doors, with its final intake taking place on Tuesday, February 6. Although no official reason was given for its closure, it was claimed that throughput at the outfit had been decreasing annually, but that the set-up was exploring all options available, and that it hoped the closure would only be for the short-term.

Auctioneer at Caledonian Marts, Stirling, Alastair Logan, said that he was informed of the closure on Tuesday evening, and that it would be missed by farmers all over Scotland.
"It's a real shame that the abattoir has been closed, as it's a great wee family-run business, and it's been there for years," said Mr Logan.  "I haven't heard all that much about it, other than a phone call I received on Tuesday evening to inform me that it would be closing, and that no more livestock was to be sent there."  Mr Logan also added that throughput at the site had been declining each year, but that business was consistent, with farmers taking small numbers of livestock there on a regular basis, calling it a "tractor and trailer job".  He continued: "Farmers went to that site from all over Scotland, from Kinross to Oban, and as far north as Perth and Aberfeldy. It'll be sorely missed."

NFU Scotland livestock policy manager, John Armour, said: “With the closure of Orkney abattoir a few weeks ago, a further abattoir shutting its gates shows how fragile local abattoir provision is.  “From a cattle and sheep perspective, there will be a loss of private slaughter capacity in central Scotland because of this development, but we are led to believe that capacity in other central belt abattoirs should be able to cope with any additional throughput required for butchers and other private customers.  “We will continue to monitor the situation and keep livestock producers who previously supplied Dunblane aware of any developments.”  NFU Scotland’s animal health and welfare policy manager, Penny Middleton, commented that the industry must consider alternative options on the future of local abattoirs: “The closure of the Dunblane abattoir is bad news for the contract kill sector.  "Coming on the back of Orkney closing, we are running desperately short of options for producers looking to self-market their own product, without incurring significant additional costs.  "We are in danger of stifling innovation amongst producers and local food initiatives looking to add value to their products. These abattoirs provide a key service but tend not to meet the criteria needed to obtain funding through options such as the food processing grants.  "We need to reconsider the value these facilities provide to the local community, and look at ways we can support them going forwards.”

An innovative new Care Village is being built in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital.

Community groups and members of the public are invited to explore how the indoor public spaces and green space at the care village could be used as a community resource.

The public were asked to come along and have a say at the Education Centre at Stirling Community Hospital on the 8th February between 12.30pm and 4pm.

More information on the Care Village can be found here.

Do you fancy travelling to New York, Singapore or Milan? Do you have a keen interest in environmental issues? Well this could be the project for you.

Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) has launched its inaugural Travel Grant to fund three young people to visit anywhere in the world to learn more about green infrastructure projects.

The High Line in New York, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore and the Bosco Verticale in Milan are just some of the world-renowned examples of green infrastructure which are already being used to inspire the development of similar projects in Central Scotland. So you can go literally anywhere in the world you wish.

 The initiative – to mark Year of Young People - is focused on harnessing the insight and enthusiasm of young people across the globe and finding out more about how they can influence a range of key issues from environmental and climate change through to encouraging active travel.

CSGN is focused on transforming Central Scotland into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality and Chief Executive, Simon Rennie, explained the role the travel grant would play.
He said: “This is an exciting opportunity for a group of young people to support the development and delivery of the green network across Central Scotland by learning from thought provoking initiatives around the world.

 “This could be exploring different ways to raise awareness and engage young people about the importance of green infrastructure or looking at ways they can be directly involved in encouraging cycling and walking or in food growing initiatives.”
he CSGN Young Persons Travel Grant 2018 is open to young people* under the age of 26 and up to three successful applicants will each be awarded up to £1,000 (£500 if visiting an initiative in the UK) for a trip during 2018.

 In order to apply, prospective globetrotters are required to produce an original, researched and achievable proposal which outlines their proposed study trip which could be to anywhere in the world. To apply visit and submit a completed application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by midnight on 1 April 2018.


The Gask Ridge is an early chain of frontier forts, watchtowers and fortifications built by the Romans in Caledonia (Scotland). The Ridge comes close to Dunblane at the Ardoch Roman Fort in Braco, the Glenbank Fortlet, Doune Roman Fort, and Bochastle Roman Fort in Callander.

The fort system was built around 80 CE along the Highland Line, the boundary between Scotland’s fertile lowlands and mountainous highlands. Beginning at Glenbank north of Dunblane and finishing at Bertha, the Gask Ridge was one of Rome’s earliest fortified land frontiers. (Construction on Hadrian’s Wall wouldn’t begin for another 42 years)

The military centre of the frontier was the Legionary fortress of Inchtuthil overlooking the north bank of the River Tay. Inchtuthil was built for the forces of Governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola as the advance headquarters for campaigning against the northern tribes.

The traditional theory for the forts construction was to prevent invading Caledonians from raiding Roman-held lands. The value of the forts to block a larger mass invasion from the north is doubtful, as only Inchtuthil had the necessary soldiers and defensives to place a hurdle strong enough to fight a war along the chain.

Recent archaeological evidence has even shown, that depsite many of the forts on the Gask Ridge being rebuilt, sometimes twice, there is no evidence of destruction occuring through warfare. North of the Gask Ridge was a series of marching camps that the Romans constructed in the 1st century during their exploratory campaigning as far north as Inverness (and possibly further).
By 86 CE Rome established a policy of three standing legions for Britannia, and a military withdrawal south was declared. The Gask Ridge frontier, along with its fortifications was abandoned no later than 90 CE. Find out more

From the Stirling Observer 10 January 2017

More than a ton of goods was collected by Dunblane Boys' Brigade members in their bid to help Start Up Stirling.

Organisers were delighted with the response and say the amount collected was impressive as people responded to the request to donate toilet paper and feminine hygiene products- neither of which weigh much. Dozens of the boys helped over the three-hour public donation period and many assisted to unload the food at Start Up's new, larger depot in Stirling.

Captain of 25th Stirling (Dunblane) BB, Paul Christmas, said: "Although it is undoubtedly sad that the demand for the food bank continues to rise, we are pleased and proud to have a regular association with Start Up Stirling, who do so much to address the i problems being faced by many in communities around Stirling."

BB member Jack Robinson (16) added, "We have been helping out the food bank with big collections twice a year since 2011 and we have a monthly collection on our Friday night meetings but we do enjoy helping outwith these big collection nights and it's brilliant to see so many people coming in with donations." Donations came in thanks to support from schools and churches advertising the event plus appeals in print media. Members of Dunblane Cathedral helped by taking part in the Reverse Advent Calendar activity.

Officers and boys of Dunblane BB would like to thank everyone who helped spread the word or donate in anyway to the success of the event.


Sports - Andrew Butchart has been selected as one of the lead stars for the Scotland Commonwealth games team for 2018 having had another highly successful year in 2017.    In September, Jamie Murray and partner Martina Hingis won the US Open mixed doubles having previously won the same event in Wimbledon.  Meanwhile brother Andy and his wife Kim had their second baby girl.  Not to be out done, mum Judy received her OBE and rejoined Strictly for the Christmas special.  Many other Dunblane athletes took part in the Stirling Scottish Marathon with plans announced for a half marathon to join the full one next year.





DAVID BENNETTLife on the High Street - Our butchers - John Hill and Benetts continued to make it big in the world of PIEs with top awards being won.  Sadly, the Sherrifmuir Inn closed down but Juniper Restaurant started up in Old Churches House offering a menu that has been very successful in Tillicoultry.  In December, RBS announced that their branch in Dunblane would close, following in the footsteps of the TSB.  The streetscaping scheme around the station finished early in the year with the Allan Water Bridge re-emerging from the building work complete with raised flower beds.  For much of the year we had a chicane on the dual carriageway while part of the bridge was raised to allow for electric trains to Dunblane in late 2018 - early 2019.  Sadly if we went in to Edinburgh or Glasgow for a night out, it was a rather slow bus taking you home from Polmont or Croy.




Culture and Events - The fling was a success again with Dougie McLean headlining the Saturday night in the Victoria Hall.   

October saw the E-Bicycle event take place. 

We're not getting quieter, with Holmehill, Park of Keir and Hillside housing developments all continuing to generate strong views in both for and against camps.


And Finally - Dunblane's population stands at 8,830.  It is the second biggest settlement in the Stirling Council area.


Have a great 2018!

Page 13 of 40