Hub shortlisted for funds

The Banchory Community Hub project is a contender for RBS skills and opportunities funding
The Banchory Community Hub project is a contender for RBS skills and opportunities funding

A Deeside project is in the running for a share of a £2.5million skills and opportunities fund.

Banchory Community Hub is among a dozen Scottish organisations shortlisted for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s pot of cash.

The number of groups vying for a slice of the RBS fund has been whittled down to nearly 100 across the UK and the Republic of Ireland - with a public vote set to decide the winner.

Charities, not-for-profit organisations and state-funded schools and colleges can apply for up to £35,000 each for a specific project that helps people develop, create or access skills and opportunities they need to get into work or start a business.

Banchory and District Initiative (BDI) has long held the aim of starting up a community hub as a place for people to meet and to help young people who need more training to assist them into the jobs market.

One of the features of the hub would be a community cafe which would provide hospitality training locally.

Town co-ordinator Jan Leatham, who is on the community hub committee, said: “With the cafe, the idea would be that it would shut maybe on Monday or Tuesday for training but would operate as a normal cafe that anybody can use.

“Another idea we hope would be part of it would be tourist information and developing Banchory tourism products.”

It is hoped the hub would have wall space for exhibitions and some local organisations have expressed an interest in having meetings.

Jan added: “You know when you set something up and all of a sudden everybody is interested and wants to use it, you realise there’s been a gap.

“That’s what we hope for and this is part of the plan for funding to start off the community hub, so fingers crossed.”

Public voting opened last Friday and the deadline is midday on Friday, April 22. Winning projects will be announced during the week beginning Monday, May 23.

Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, said: “We had tremendous success with the launch of the fund last year and supported a number of very worthy organisations across the country.

“As a bank we are looking to support projects in our region that can deliver measurable social impact and make a real difference.”

For details about the fund and on how to vote visit