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New development idea for ӣƵ's La Folie Inn

La Folie Inn Picture: JON GUEGAN. (38488061)

A COMMUNITY land trust could develop the former La Folie Inn for the benefit of Islanders, according to a Turner Prize winner.

Xanthe Hamilton – who was a project manager with the Granby 4 Streets team that secured the prestigious art prize in 2015 after renovating housing in Toxteth, Liverpool – has joined forces with architect Josh Noad to invite Islanders to a public meeting on Monday to explore the benefits of creating a community land trust in ӣƵ.

“The meeting is about explaining what a CLT is, how it works, and establishing if there are interested people who would like to come forward to form one to make something happen; it’s very much about engagement and this is the first step,” she said.

She continued: “It may be that the Folie site isn’t a possible location for a CLT, but it gets us together to discuss a tangible project, and if we are formed as a CLT and we established some goals we could find alternative sites.

“La Folie is a great site to see if we could get something working that can offer the opportunity for people to get involved in delivering something they really want to see happen, whatever that may be,” she explained.

In May, Ports of ӣƵ invited ideas about the future use of the site from organisations with experience in developing visitor accommodation and hospitality venues, launching a consultation to establish the potential of the site.

However, Ms Hamilton believes that the former pub – which closed 20 years ago – provides an opportunity for discussing a community-led approach.

She explained that the essence of the community land trust was that it was a democratic, non-profit organisation that owned and developed land for the benefit of the community.

At Monday’s meeting, which takes place at 5.30pm at the Harbour Gallery, Commercial Buildings, she is looking for volunteers to join the initiative, in particular those with experience in construction and development, property law, engineering, social impact investment, building management and community business operations.

“This initiative aims to organise as a community to create alternative proposals for acquiring land and property to provide cultural facilities, community-run projects, builds, and housing,” she said.

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