An unsuccessful funding application means the development of a proposed community and regeneration project in Banff has to go back to the drawing board.

In December Aberdeenshire Council applied to the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) for £723,758 to restore the Vinery building at Duff House in Banff.

A community consultation was carried out to identify possible uses for the Grade B listed Glass House in Airlie Gardens.

The local community identified the preferred use for a restored building as a “Community garden and Horticultural Skills base” which was closely followed in votes by a Community Kitchen and Café, and it was hoped it could be possible to accommodate both in the site designs.

The application met all the funding criteria, but the fund was massively oversubscribed from projects all over Scotland and unfortunately, on this occasion, the application was unsuccessful.

Regeneration officers are now assessing other options to fund the development, and will be exploring other ways to take the community’s preferred option forward.

Banff and Buchan Area Committee chair, Andy Kille, said: “It is disappointing that the RCGF application has been unsuccessful on this occasion, but I am glad to see that officers will continue working on the next steps to develop the site.”

Committee vice chair, Michael Roy, added: “There has been a lot of valuable consultation carried out with the local community, who were excited about the prospect of a development here.

“Whilst the decision from the RCGF is disappointing, we can use this opportunity to develop our plans and explore other funding opportunities to develop this site for community use.”

The council wants to build on the positive momentum the community consultation has built to develop the project as alternative funding is sought.

Anyone who would like to be involved in shaping and exploring future options should email Naomi Mason at:

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