Former Mearns Academy building to be demolished

The former Mearns Academy building is to be demolished and the site placed on the open market following agreement from councillors today.

At a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy & Resources Committee, along with the decision to dispose of the building, councillors agreed to retain the playing fields.

A local group, the Laurencekirk Development Trust, had expressed interest in developing the building and playing fields with councillors previously granting two time extensions for the creation of an appropriate business case. Councillors stressed that the door remained open to the Trust to come back with proposals for how they might use the field site, described as more “manageable”.

The committee were generally supportive of the trust’s vision that the site should benefit the local community and said that would be taken into account when a decision on its future is made.

Chair of the committee and council Co-Leader, Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes, said: “The committee was unanimous in its support for the efforts of Laurencekirk Development Trust in looking to the future.

“With support from the local area management team, the group has put in a huge amount of work into looking at the future options available for the former Academy and I’d emphasis that our decision to demolish the building and create a brownfield site opens up those options.

Vice-chair and Co-Leader, Cllr Richard Thomson, added: “We appreciate that local residents are very interested in making sure the site is used in a way that benefits the community and that will be taken into consideration once the site is available to be put on the open market.”

At the same meeting, councillors agreed to demolish the former Ellon and Alford Academies, both of which have also been replaced with modern, state-of-the-art community campuses.