Banchory’s famous son...

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Banchory residents, councillors and business people have come out in support of the Council’s Scott Skinner Square plan this week.

Highland artists Fin Macrae and Alister MacInnes from the Tain -based company, DUFI have been officially commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council to work on a proposal to regenerate Banchory’s Scott Skinner Square which is hoped to bring a new image to the Deeside town.

The pair will consult with the town community on what they would like to see with sessions of community engagement throughout August and September and final design work in October.

The project is funded by town regeneration monies as a one off cash investment of £160,000 from the Aberdeenshire Alliance 100 day pledge but overall responsibility for the project sits with the Banchory Town Centre Improvement Group made up of local businesses, Banchory community council members, the Woodend Barn, elected members and council officers from a range of services.

Chair of Banchory Community Council, Wendy Sadler, said: “Banchory Community Council are very pleased that this project is in place and moving forward, and we hope that the results will encourage the people who live and visit Banchory to utilise the town centre more.”

She was backed by the Chair of Banchory Business Association, Dick Taylor, who said: “I welcome the Scott Skinner Square Rejuvenation Project. Improvements to the town centre in Banchory will lead to a more vibrant community and a thriving local economy.”

Banchory Councillor and Aberdeenshire Provost Jill Webster said: “It is tremendously exciting that the DUFI Artists will be working on the Scott Skinner Square project. They have worked successful transformational projects elsewhere and I am really looking forward to seeing what they come up with for Banchory... Our aim is to create a much more vibrant, dynamic, attractive and welcoming space which will encourage more people into Banchory Town Centre as a whole as well as to the Square itself.”

Cllr Karen Clark said: “One of the benefits of the community engagement process over the next few months will be the opportunity for the artists to explore the identity of the town of Banchory as a place and hopefully this knowledge will inform and help create a brand which will be unique to Banchory itself. Scott Skinner Square needs to be a more attractive and dynamic space.”

Fellow Banchory councillor Linda Clark has been closely involved from the start of the project. She said : “Having been involved in this piece of work from the outset, attending the meetings and ultimately sifting through the candidates, interviewing them and selecting the very worthy, successful DUFI. I now look forward to working with them... The guys are a real mixture of Scots/Canadians with their sense of humour and obvious love of their artform.”