Alford and District Men's Shed takes on part of old academy building in Community Asset Transfer

Part of Alford's old academy has been handed over to the local Men's Shed to develop community facilities.
The town’s new £37million community campus opened in 2015 and Alford and District Men’s Shed requested Community Asset Transfer of part of the old school site from Aberdeenshire Council. 

Men's Sheds are a worldwide network dedicated to improving wellbeing through the provision of recreational facilities and activities.

Although aimed at combating social isolation in men, they are open to all members of the local community.

The Alford group is a registered charity and aims to offer opportunities for men in the area to meet and undertake creative, physical, purposeful and recreational activities of their choice, and to share their skills and knowledge with others.

Following detailed discussion and agreements between the Men's Shed and the council, local councillors on the Marr Area Committee agreed to the transfer in January 2017.
The group will now occupy the former technical block and an adjoining area of land, creating a men’s shed, allotments, community orchard and sensory garden.
The deal relied on the demolition of remainder of the old former academy, which was completed in January 2018.
Missives were completed this week (Monday, July 2) when the group took possession of the keys from the council.
Chair of the Marr Area Committee, Moira Ingleby, said: "The plans the Men’s Shed have for the former technical block and surrounding land is ambitious and will bring great benefits to the community.

“This is a good example of how communities can help shape local facilities working with the council – I wish them best of luck and look forward to the Shed opening in the near future.”

John Reid, the Men’s Shed secretary, said: “It has taken a long time to get to this stage, but we are delighted to get ownership of the facilities and develop the site for the whole of Alford and District. 

“It will be a real challenge to get the shed and the surrounding ground ready for use. We will need to raise substantial amounts of money, but hope within a year to have a functioning shed and a developing project in the orchard area and community garden.”

For more information about Alford and District Men’s Shed and the work it does in the community, see their Facebook page.