Community consultation launched on proposals to lease The Vinery at Banff

Aberdeenshire Council has today (Tues, Aug 11) begun a consultation on proposals to lease The Vinery at Banff to Scotland’s Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Last year, the community identified the preferred use for the buildings as a community garden and horticultural skills base.

Following a highly competitive process, Aberdeenshire Council received £663,768 in a second stage funding application to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for the continued development of the GrowBanff@The Vinery project.

As the property located at Airlie Gardens is a Common Good asset, it is now necessary to seek approval for the building to be leased to an operator, although full public access will be retained to the garden grounds.

GrowBanff@The Vinery meets a need for social regeneration and inclusive growth identified as part of an overall regeneration programme in the Banff and Macduff area and will bring new life to a building which has been vacant for many years.  

The project will offer opportunities for the people of the area who participate in the wellbeing activities that the Vinery refurbishment will enable to take place.

Through the appointment of SAMH as the operator for the building, individuals will be able to benefit from the therapeutic powers of gardening to help people regain confidence, develop new skills in horticulture and cooking or accessing qualifications, build self-esteem and motivation as well as creating new social networks.

Through the future use of the Vinery as a space for horticulture, it is intended that volunteers and local groups will be able to work in the gardens and make them once again an inviting place for people to visit.

The project also offers the opportunity to promote sustainability through local food production on site, encouraging more people to think about the impact of their purchasing patterns. 

The consultation running until October 6 asks for the community’s views on whether Aberdeenshire Council should lease the property to SAMH for an initial period of 25 years.

A consultation document has been prepared and can be viewed at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/community-empowerment/common-good-properties/

In the event of anyone wishing to make representations concerning the proposed lease, they  should do so by emailing suzanne.rhind@aberdeenshire.gov.uk