Fiona McIntyre, founder

Fiona McIntyre, founder

Throughout our first meeting over coffee at a popular café on Aberdeen Beach, Dr. Fiona McIntyre, Greyhope Bay’s founder, and I stole many glances across the water towards Torry Battery.

I was immediately captivated by Fiona’s vision to open a community space that connects people to the marine world while perched on this iconic historic monument with views of the areas’ amazing coastline and resident Bottlenose dolphins. I was also struck by a clear vision of how it could tie in with circular ambitions to do things differently. If we’re going to ask people to come and enjoy the sea and appreciate the environment, I said, we need to make sure that we’re bringing them there in the most low-impact way possible. And she couldn’t have agreed more.

Almost three years on from that first coffee and we’re only weeks away from starting work to build at Torry Battery. The project has focused around delivering a facility and experience on site that embodies our collective role as stewards of the sea and our planet by committing to sustainability at multiple levels. Afterall, Greyhope Bay is much more than a café on a hill…

Our local “Built by” team is delivering a low-impact and zero-footprint facility with the best views of our city and its coastline. We’ve achieved this by bringing together a wide group of local organisations who are generously collaborating to bring innovative ideas from concept to reality. DYNAMIX One is donating all labour costs and is set to convert two reused 40ft shipping containers, donated by Greenwell Equipement, into a state-of-the-art café and community space running completely off-grid.

The challenge of meeting the centre and café’s power needs with green energy was taken up by JCE Energy, who have designed, built and donated a bespoke power system based on their unique technology that combines solar, wind and battery. Water to make that perfect cup of coffee will be harvested on site through rainwater collection and ozone filter technology provided by Grant Water Ltd. to minimize the need for trucking it in. And finally, even our loos will be eco-friendly as we will be installing composting toilets for public use.

A ‘Waste to Resource’ partnership will bring transparency and education to the way we manage our waste on site. We’ve started the conversation with One-Stop-Waste and Keenan Recycling to explore ways of providing the highest level of responsible waste management that will engage visitors to Greyhope Bay along the waste journey. From procurement to recycling and reuse, we want everyone that visits us to understand where their waste comes from, where it goes and how they play an important role in the system.

East Grampian Coastal Partnership has installed a “Take 4 for the Shore” beach cleaning box at Torry Battery. As part of their turning the plastic tide campaign, the box contains everything you need to complete a beach clean and is part of a wider network of boxes found at beaches across the North-east coast. It’s a first step in bringing the Greyhope Bay community together around marine environment protection and we plan to grow this initiative to include circular plastic waste solution demonstrations.

There’s a lot to look forward to as we get set to open doors in 2021. Be a part of it!

Find out more about Greyhope Bay here, including their membership pages. The group is always looking for other like-minded organisations to support their work as they continue to grow a community-led programme. To get in touch, please email hello@greyhopebay.com. To stay up to date, sign up for their newsletter: https://bit.ly/3cYZT36