Feedback on The Barn in Banchory development plans sought

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Arts centre the Barn, or Woodend Barn as most will still know it, is looking to develop its current building to make it fit for purpose and expand its activities.

Drawings are currently on display at the venue for the local community to view and comment on.

An online questionnaire has also been set up to capture more feedback.

Established by members of the local community in 1994, Woodend Barn Arts Centre (The Barn) in Banchory has steadily grown and developed through local endeavour, to become Aberdeenshire’s largest multi-arts venue.

Alongside the performance/ film theatre, art gallery and craft retail spaces, the Barn is also home to 110 community allotments, and a wild garden.

The Barn supports the wider provision of the arts in Aberdeenshire by providing subsidised office space in the building to two additional arts organisations, North East Arts Touring and sound festival.

A bistro, separately run by Buchanan Food, shares the Barn site.

A spokesperson said: “The Barn’s success in attracting larger audiences and visitor numbers to Banchory has created increasing pressures on the building, such as limited circulation space at busy events and poor navigation around the building to the box office, gallery and other public areas.

“Whilst the Barn team have made efforts to address some of these issues by improving signage and the overall visual appearance of the Barn over the last couple of years, they recognize that more significant structural improvements are needed to ensure that the best cultural and visitor facilities, fit for 21st century needs, are available within Banchory, and to serve Aberdeenshire and Scotland more widely.”

EIGHTYSEVEN Architecture has put together sketch proposals of improvements and staff at the Barn would like to consult with audiences, partners and the local community on these before taking them further and applying for funding to deliver them.

In this phase of improvements they are focusing on a new foyer, better linkage to the gallery and unlocking the potential of the Barn sheds to create pop-up retail spaces for local designers and makers.

The proposals can be viewed in the Barn Foyer.

The online questionnaire can be found at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/barndevelopment