A community group has appealed to the Scottish Government in a bid to take over a former school building.
The Garioch Partnership (TGP) had its plans to gain control of the former Market Place Primary School site in Inverurie rejected in August by Aberdeenshire Council.
The partnership had made a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) request to the Garioch area committee, hoping to turn the old school into a new community hub.
However, the local authority had said its business case was not sufficiently robust and had valued the school at £560,000 with TGP prepared to pay £5,000.
This would have been for both the school and the adjacent playing fields, which the partnership was not looking to buy.
A new valuation of £290,000 has been put forward by the local authority.
The school has lain empty since October 2017 when pupils transferred to the new Uryside Primary School due to overcrowding.
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Aberdeenshire Council has also floated an alternative use for the site as part of its ongoing office strategy – turning the area into a car park for council staff.
Dawn Brown, development worker at TGP, said in appeal documents: “TGP feel retaining the asset as a community hub is better value than the costs of demolishing a perfectly sound building, making it into a car park and the associated costs of road remapping.
“Although the offer from TGP is below market value, we feel in terms of community benefit and building social capital, community cohesion and providing community space for a wide variety of groups in our community and third sector, supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society, as well as supporting the development of new small businesses, would have an impact on the Aberdeenshire Council spend in the future.”
An appeal by the group to the committee which deals with community empowerment appeals was also refused, leading TGP to turn to the Scottish Government.
Plans for the hub suggest it will offer space for charities, groups and support bodies for people, all under one roof.
If approved, TGP has said it would apply to a number of different charitable bodies to meet the cost of refurbishment.
Aberdeenshire Council declined to comment.