Scott Skinner Square redevelopment plans on the table for public exhibition

Local councillor with the artists
Local councillor with the artists
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Banchory residents are being urged to attend a public exhibition showcasing the proposed new designs for Scott Skinner Square.

After working with the local community for three months, DUFI artists Alister MacInnes and Fin Macrae have revealed their ideas for the redevelopment.

The pair were commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council after the project received £160,000 as a one-off cash investment from town regeneration money.

Inspired by the achievements of the square’s namesake, Fin and Ali have modelled their proposals for Scott Skinner Square on one of his most famous tunes, Bonnie Banchory.

Their plans include a contemporary overhead entrance way to the square, a collection of polished stainless steel tubes and new lighting columns are proposed for the square itself, towering over visitors and supporting wooden sculptures.

DUFI are also proposing new seating for the square, around 20 individual seats scattered around the area along with two picnic tables and benches.

Town coordinator for Banchory District Initiative, Jan Leatham, said: “This looks like an exciting project with lots of opportunities to enhance the square.

‘‘I’m looking forward to seeing it unfold in 2014.”

Banchory and Mid- Deeside councillor Jill Webster said: “DUFI have consulted widely with groups, residents and visitors to Banchory over the past few months and have come up with some exciting and innovative but also deliverable ideas with local meaning to enliven Scott Skinner Square.

“The proposals will create a much more attractive, welcoming and usable space where people want to be and where events can be held.

‘‘I would encourage everyone to come along to view the proposals and talk to the artists themselves to appreciate the local meaning behind the ideas.”

She was supported by ward colleague Cllr Karen Clark: “We had a presentation from DUFI the artists to the Banchory Town Centre Improvement Group at the end of November where they showed us their ideas.

“I think the proposals are exciting and there is a theme to the artwork which reflects the Scott Skinner legacy but in a very innovative way.

“They’ve drawn extensively on the many consultations they have had with all sections of the community, local groups and the individuals in Banchory who participated in their drop-in sessions at their artist’s hub in the High Street.

“The square is in sore need of a revamp and and hopefully these proposals will get people enthused, but art is always subjective so it will be interesting to get local reaction once the ideas are unveiled.

‘‘I would hope as many people as possible will come along and give their views.

Whatever the end result, we want the community itself owning the ideas and feeling that this is their square.

‘‘The funding from Aberdeenshire council was to help regenerate our town centres and let’s hope this gives us the opportunity to make the square more attractive for everyone.”

The proposals will also be available on the Woodend Barn website ( later this week.

A public exhibition of the proposals will go on display from January 16 to 18 at Banchory Town Hall.

The artists also hope to run a series of walking tours around Scott Skinner Square, talking people through their plans and how they will look in the public space.