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Community consultation launched on proposals to lease The Vinery


By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council has begun a consultation on proposals to lease The Vinery at Banff to Aberdeen Foyer.

Work has commenced on the Vinery in Banff.
Work has commenced on the Vinery in Banff.

Back in 2019, the community identified the preferred use for the buildings as a community garden and horticultural skills base.

Following a highly competitive process, Aberdeenshire Council received £663,768 in a second stage funding application to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for the continued development of the GrowBanff@The Vinery project.

As the property located at Airlie Gardens is a Common Good asset, it is now necessary to seek approval for the building to be leased to an operator, although full public access will be retained to the garden grounds.

Despite the withdrawal of Scotland’s Association for Mental Health from the project due to the uncertainty around Covid, a new operator has been confirmed, with Aberdeen Foyer now in place to work in partnership with other local community groups.

An architect’s impression of how the Banff Vinery building could look.
An architect’s impression of how the Banff Vinery building could look.

Aberdeen Foyer are excited at the prospect of working closely with NESCOL and community partners to provide opportunities to access wellbeing support, qualifications and training for all ages, while also providing a safe, shared space for other community and third sector groups to enjoy, including opportunities for gardening.

As the property is a Common Good asset, it will again be necessary to seek approval for the building to be leased to an operator. Aberdeen Foyer will use this consultation and the construction period to develop a business plan for their activities as well as talking to local residents about their ideas and aspirations.

Through the future use of the Vinery as a space for horticulture, it is intended that volunteers and local groups will be able to work in the gardens and make them once again an inviting place for people to visit.

The current consultation runs until May 25 and asks for the community’s views on whether Aberdeenshire Council should lease the property to Aberdeen Foyer for an initial period of 25 years.

A consultation document has been prepared and can be viewed at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/community-empowerment/common-good-properties/

In the event of anyone wishing to make representations concerning the proposed lease, they should do so by emailing suzanne.rhind@aberdeenshire.gov.uk


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