BID FOR PARK HUB LAUNCHED

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LEADERS of the King George V Community Projects in Banchory are to seek Big Lottery funding to help develop a community hub.

If successful, the Growing Community Asset grant will part fund the design and construction of the new facility.

The King George V Community Projects charity has evolved over many years following ideas suggested by the Banchory-Ternan Rotary Club and the local community council to develop new changing rooms and a youth centre in the town centre.

CONSULTATION

KGV2000 and Y2K groups were formed 13 years ago, and have been behind the construction of the temporary changing rooms in KGV Park and youth shelters and the children’s play area in Bellfield Park.

The two groups merged and became a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) in 2012.

The community consultation, ‘Planning for Real,’ and subsequent public consultations indicate support for the project if the green heart is maintained.

Chairman, Dr George Mennie, said: “We commissioned the Development Trust Association Scotland to write a business plan and option appraisal last year.

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“In the past six months we have discussed the proposals with the main users of the KGV Park and other interested potential users and had a favourable response, we now have 220 members and five trustees.

“The Big Lottery fund manager has seen our plans and has asked us to submit a draft application. If all goes well we will commission the project manager and design team later this year.”

The proposed community hub will provide facilities for the whole community but priority is given to the most needy - the old, young, disabled and those disadvantaged by low income.

The building will have four core elements – a public social space which will include a restaurant and multi-use hall; a youth centre which will include a café and performance space; a learning centre with a music and dance studio and a training kitchen. There will also be changing rooms for the outdoor sporting facilities in the park and recreation grounds.

Group member Jean Henretty said: “We have been planning this building for 12 years.

“It has grown from the original design because so many groups have asked to be included. We now have a 24/7; all year round building for all abilities and ages.

“To make the project financially viable we included the restaurant which will be used to train catering and hospitality students of all abilities.

“The main priority is to maintain the park lands which are the heart of the community while creating a building that is required for the outdoor sports and events held in the town centre.”

Draft plans will be published in the coming weeks.

For more information on the project contact the trustees by email – kgvcps@gmail.com or Facebook ‘King George V community projects’.