Stonehaven Town Hall Trust moves into inactivity

Stonehaven Town Hall

Stonehaven Town Hall

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Questions have been raised over the future of Stonehaven Town Hall after the Trust that runs it moved to a position of inactivity.

Stonehaven Town Hall Trust (STHT), which has run the hall for the last five years, has announced it plans to move to a state of ‘dormancy’.

In a statement STHT said: “The energy and enthusiasm of many people, both trustees and volunteers has over the last five years ensured that Stonehaven kept this valuable and well supported community asset alive with very little matching effort or action from the council.

“It was always understood that STHT would undertake a Community Asset Transfer (C.A.T.) i.e. take over responsibility for the hall if and when it was financially viable.

“SHTH drafted an “Access Agreement” to formalise its relationship with the council in the meantime, but Aberdeenshire Council has never seen fit to sign up to this. In the meantime STHT put on events to build up funds for hall improvements that it would commission itself.

“Despite their best efforts STHT’s financial people couldn’t recommend entering into a C.A.T. Other financially achievable alternatives were put forward by our people but were rejected.”

When asked for comment regarding the statement by STHT, Aberdeenshire Council responded: “The council has been trying to work in partnership with the Stonehaven Town Hall Trust for some time to try to find a viable way of transferring the building to the community, unfortunately unsuccessfully.

“We provided funding to enable some improvements and there has been a partnership approach to identifying and, where possible, carrying out work.

“The council recognises the importance of the town hall and welcomes community involvement in its running and management, but it is in nobody’s interest to transfer it to the community without a business plan which shows it would be financially sustainable and that the community group and its members are not exposed to risk.

“The hall remains an important asset and is not in any danger of closing down.”

The Trust is scheduled to hold its AGM in May but a number of the trustees have already resigned with some staying on until they settle all outstanding issues, supplier costs and disposed of cash.