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Plean's Voice First Anniversary

As we approach our first anniversary of achieving registered charity status, I feel a slight

sense of disbelief that we have achieved so much over the past year. As an organization, we

have developed from a small group of people who all shared a common belief – that we

could, and should, make Plean a better, fairer and happier place to live and work.

Some of us barely knew each other while others have known each other since their

schooldays. We come from all walks of life and have a range of skills and experience.

At the beginning we had 11 trustees; we now have 13 and have grown into a real team,

bonded by trust and friendship.

I am immensely grateful to have been a part of what is the start of a Plean revival. This

gratitude extends not only to my fellow trustees but also to the many Plean’s Voice

members, villagers and businesses who have contributed to all that has been achieved.

Together, we are breathing life back into the village, a place that has never recovered after

the closure of the mine.


Since the end of January 2023 we have established:

Stay n Play Café – in partnership with Inspiring Communities - a playgroup for

preschool children and their guardians.

Soup and Sandwich Mondays - where between 20 and 40 people come along for a

meal, a chat and light entertainment.

Plean in Bloom - a community project to brighten up the village with planters and

hanging baskets.

Summer Fun Day - At one time the Plean Gala Day was the highlight of the year and

many years later an attempt was made to revive the tradition as a summer fun day.

Lack of support and Covid brought an end to this after two events but, building on

this experience, we delivered the first Summer Fun Day and we are planning to the

next one on Sunday 28 July 2024.

Pumpkin Patch Halloween event - run by East Plean Primary School Parent Council

and supported by Plean’s Voice.

Racenight fundraising event – in partnership with Plean Football Club

Visit to the Village of Isabel McKnight (Chief Operating Officer, Stirling Council) -

the establishment of an ongoing high level partnership with Stirling Council

Macrobert Moviehouse Plean - This was funded by “Screen Scotland” to provide a 20

seat, state of the art cinema – the first of its kind in Scotland to give the “complete

cinema experience” in a rural community setting - in partnership with the

Macrobert Arts Centre and Stirling Council

Guided local walks – in partnership with Active Stirling

Festive Lights - installed for the first time along Main Street

Four day Christmas Extravaganza - which included Christmas light switch on, Santa

visited the streets in the village, a Christmas fayre in partnership with East Plean

Primary School Parent Council and Christmas lights switch on at William Simpsons

Home.

Christmas story and games event – run by Plean Library and supported

by Plean’s Voice

A Christmas present donation - to each resident of William Simpsons Home


It has been a busy, sometimes exhausting, eleven months but it has been fun, good natured

(mostly!) and rewarding. Most of all it has confirmed our belief when we started out – If we

really want it, Plean can do it!

As we look forward to 2024 we can see both challenges and opportunities ahead.

Perhaps the first challenge is to keep up what we have started and we are ready to gear up

for this as the year progresses – having learned from our mistakes but also from the things

we got right.


Our cinema, Macrobert Moviehouse Plean, has to be our first target as the initial funding

comes to an end in mid – March and Plean’s Voice is planning to become the lead partner

soon after this while the council withdraw. We are exploring other funding opportunities

and are engaged in ongoing discussions with both Stirling Council and Macrobert Arts

Centre. Continuing support for the cinema from Plean and further afield can only help this.


The Balfour Centre is the key community building in the village and we would like to play a

much bigger role in its management, eventually taking it over completely. We believe that,

with better management and a fairer pricing structure, the Centre can once again be a busy

focal point for a whole range of activities. The threatened Stirling Council budget cuts mean

that we may have to do this anyway, simply to keep the Centre for the Community.

We are very conscious that the impending budget cuts will affect far more services within

the village and we will do what we can to mitigate the effects once we know the Council’s

plans.


Bob McWilliam

Chair of Plean’s Voice



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