Stonehaven’s Beach pavilion facing closure

Aberdeenshire Concil#s headquarters, Woodhill House.
Aberdeenshire Concil#s headquarters, Woodhill House.

Stonehaven’s Beach pavilion is facing closure, after Aberdeenshire Council deemed it “surplus to requirements” in a new report.

Laurencekirk’s St Laurence Hall will also be closed, unless a community group or other organisation comes forward to take over the running of the facilities.

The report, which focuses on ensuring “that public halls support local needs and help with the delivery of council services”, announces the closure of five halls in all, including Banff Town Hall, while Corse Hall and Kinnoir Hall - both of which have been shut for a number of years - will be formally closed.

The local authority said that the storm damage sustained by the Beach Pavilion meant that a good deal of money would have to be invested to bring it back up to standard, while the St Laurence Hall was being under-used and there is an alternative option of using the nearby Mearns Community Campus.

The move brings the number of town halls managed and directed by Aberdeenshire Council down from 18 to 13. They are also considering investment in remaining buildings, including Stonehaven Town Hall.

Director of Business Services Ritchie Johnston said: “It is important that we have a strategy based on what is sustainable, affordable and of best value to the communities. As a result it makes sense to close facilities which are not being used and help the small user groups identify more fit-for-purpose opportunities.

“Now is the time for communities to get involved. Those with innovative and workable ideas for how they can maximise the use of their local facilities are being encouraged to develop their plans and come to speak to us. We will work with all parties in an attempt to streamline our estate, a process which is in everyone’s best interests.”