Consultation opens to seek community ideas on potential uses for Banff's disused Vinery

Local people are being asked for their thoughts on the future of a disused glass house and gardens which are part of Duff House in Banff. 

The Grade B-listed Glass House in Airlie Gardens, also known as “The Vinery”, is a historical asset to the town and could be brought back into use by local regeneration efforts.

Originally part of Duff House gardens and used to grow grapes – hence its name – it was gifted to the town along with the gardens it sits in by the Duff family.

The building, which includes a potting shed to the rear, is old and has lain empty for a number of years.

Aberdeenshire Council is currently working on a funding bid to the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund to bring it back into use.

To do this though, officers need to know the direction and future use for the space, and are looking to the local community for ideas.

Consultation events will be held around the town over the next few weeks in shops, schools and various community facilities. There will also be an online survey promoted on social media.

The future use of the building must meet four key objectives: Improving access to local jobs and training; Improving physical and mental health; Increasing opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together; and Encouraging tourism.

Anyone is welcome to come up with suggested uses for the building which fit with these objectives, potentially by local or national charities, organisations or other bodies.

Chairman of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, Andy Kille, said: “Involving the local community in the future direction for the Vinery building in Banff is important, to see the building appreciated and well used locally, contributing to ongoing regeneration efforts.

“Improving opportunities for employment is very important in this area and I welcome that being a key objective for the space, as well as the aim of bringing people closer together.”

Committee vice chair, Michael Roy, added “The building has been in a poor state of repair for a number of years, and I welcome this funding application to aid its restoration.

“By consulting locally we will help to ensure this becomes an asset local people can be proud of, like the newly restored Smiddy building in the town. I’d encourage as many people as possible to have a think about ways they’d like to see the buildings used and take part in the consultation.”

The application for funding is expected to be submitted in November, with an announcement to be made early in 2019 as to whether the project has been successful.

If you have ideas you’d like to put forward for the future of The Vinery in Banff, please take part in the consultation at: http://bit.ly/2Qp98g8