Banchory community hub set to open

The community hub will be based in the former Deeside Piper office in Scott Skinner Square
The community hub will be based in the former Deeside Piper office in Scott Skinner Square

A long-awaited community hub for Banchory is set to open its doors in the next few weeks.

Community Matters will be based in premises in Scott Skinner Square with the aim of becoming a focus for community action and learning.

Work is currently under way to convert the former Deeside Piper office in the square and the hub is scheduled to begin operating in December or January.

The concept arose from demands from community members and groups to replace public sector facilities that have been closed or have reduced services.

Banchory and District Initiative (BDI) will manage the space in partnership with a number of other community organisations.

The hub project - first proposed in 2000 - attracted funding from the Big Lottery Awards for All Programme, and RBS Skills and Opportunities.

It is planned to have training, information, support services and a social area within the new facility.

BDI chairperson Jean Henretty said earlier: “There is a recognised demand and need for learning and training provision in the Deeside area.

“There is well documented demand for adult learning since the demise of the adult education services in Banchory Community Centre.

“There is also a demand for accredited training courses to boost employment opportunities and to support business training. “Although the identified need at present comes from the long-term unemployed there is recognition that in the present employment climate there may be demand for retraining or upskilling from people previously employed in the oil industry.”

The facility will also focus on communication within the town, becoming a source of information or a community noticeboard for people.

It will act as a point of contact for many support services, with space where clients can be met privately or informally.

There will also be a social area for people to meet or relax, with refreshments available. Food will be prepared off site.

The community hub is due to open on seven days a week from 8am until 11pm.