Funding helps Men's Shed to be more environmentally friendly

Alford and District Men’s Shed has been awarded cash from Aberdeenshire Council to help make their base more environmentally friendly.

By Kirstie Topp, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 7:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 7:59 am
The Men’s Shed operates from part of Alford’s old academy

The group applied to the Aberdeenshire Charities Trust (ACT2) for £2,000 to put towards its ongoing project to find alternative ways to heat the group’s building while reducing its carbon footprint.

The group already has a solar panel installed but is looking for the best way to use the energy being generated which could include heating a thermal store and using an air source heat pump.

National consultant firm Harley Haddow have been working with the group to look at the measures they could take to reduce their use of fossil fuels and invited companies to tender for the proposed work.

The total cost of the environmentally friendly project is estimated to be nearly £108,000 however the Men’s Shed have already secured funding from Local Energy Scotland and Vattenfall. The group applied to the ACT2 to help pay the remaining sum.

The Men’s Shed operates from part of Alford’s old academy after the group’s request for a community asset transfer was approved by councillors back in 2017.

Now the group owns the former technical block and has used surrounding land to create the Shed, allotments, a community orchard and sensory garden.

The Men Shed’s application was considered and unanimously supported by the Marr Area Committee.

Group secretary Dr John Reid said: “We have to date expended over £300,000 in delivering the facilities within the Men’s Shed site however we would like to do more and provide a demonstrator site highlighting the benefits of modern energy methods.

“The heat losing characteristics of our 1960s building have and are being addressed as we attempt to reduce our carbon footprint to a net zero basis.”

Committee chair councillor John Latham said: “I’m pretty impressed by the fact that they’ve sourced so much funding from external sources, it shows a level of commitment. Quite an exciting project this, certainly to be used as an exemplar within the whole environmentally friendly sort of ethos.”

Councillor Peter Argyle added: “I absolutely commend the work that has been done by the Men’s Shed and totally support this grant.”