Blow as funding bid for Stonehaven court building fails

Stonehaven's court building could be set to be taken over
Stonehaven's court building could be set to be taken over

Plans for a community to take over a court building have hit a funding hurdle.

Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) made a bid for the town’s court building and wants to turn it into a strong community facility.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) previously agreed to transfer ownership of the building to the group.

STP had hoped to secure funding to renovate the building from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but the bid failed.

David Fleming, who is leading the project for STP, said: “There were a number of applications that went forward for funding and we lost out.

“We are now looking at other sources of funding that we can apply to.”

The group has outlined a number of plans for the B-listed building, which would include providing space for the Citizens Advice Bureau and Kincardine and Deeside Befriending.

The group would aim to find an anchor tenant for the building and a number of smaller tenants.

Court room one would fulfil a number of uses, such as mock trials and committee meetings.

Small rooms at the back of the building would be made available for craft workshops, storage and other activities.

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Mr Fleming said the plans would now be scaled back.

He said: “We had some fairly ambitious plans.

“We won’t redecorate all the rooms in the first instance – that sort of thing.

“We were hoping to do nice things to restore the heritage but that has been put on the back burner at the moment.”

He added: “There were plans to do a lot of nice things but we just don’t have the money to do them.”

To take over the building STP is seeking a community asset transfer.

This would allow the group to purchase the building for less than the market value.

Mr Fleming said they had until August to secure funding and finalise a deal with SCTS.

He added: “I am less optimistic now as I thought we had a reasonable chance of getting funding.”