Alford Shed’s delight at ‘climate’ funding

Alford and District Men's Shed is developing part of the former academy site
Alford and District Men's Shed is developing part of the former academy site

Alford and District Men’s Shed has been awarded nearly £196,000 by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

The group has received the funding as the lead body in developing the Alford Green Hub.

The purpose of the fund is to support charitable groups to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses in their communities.

Dr John Reid, secretary of Alford and District Men’s Shed, said: “This grant will make a huge difference to us.

“We accepted a major project when we received the old technical subjects block and an area of land on the former site of Alford Academy by a community asset transfer.

“We aim to get the semi-derelict and quite badly vandalised building into a functional state to satisfy building regulations.

“The grant will go a long way to giving us an energy efficient building with a new roof, replacement windows and better insulation.”

Fellow trustee Bill Slee developed the proposal in association with a number of businesses and other bodies in Alford, including Alford Academy, Grampian Transport Museum and other regional support groups such as Home Energy Scotland.

Bill said: “This project is about seeking to engage the wider community, beyond the normal Men’s Shed participants, to think what we can all do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Whether it is better insulated buildings, growing more local food, helping people make the shift towards hybrid and electrical vehicles or promoting circular economy principles of recycle-repair-reuse, we can all contribute to climate change mitigation.

“All these actions are part of our bid and what we pilot in our initiatives will almost certainly need rolling out more widely if Scotland is to meet its emission reduction targets.”

The community asset transfer of the building and grounds has finally made allotments in Alford available for the first time and most of the plots have already been taken.

The Climate Challenge Fund money will also provide better fencing of the site, a community polytunnel and a community orchard.

When the building is fully restored it will have workshops, a hobby room, a community lounge available for a range of local groups to meet and a community cafe.

The trustees are delighted by the support they have already received from the local community.