Court development moves a stage closer

The sheriff court building has lain empty since 2014
The sheriff court building has lain empty since 2014

Plans to revitalise the former Stonehaven Sheriff Court building have moved a step closer.

Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) has announced that a funding package is nearly in place to allow it to take over the site from the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service.

The group has made the building, which has lain empty since May, 2014, a priority project for the use of community groups struggling to find suitable office accommodation in the town.

STP applied for assistance from South Aberdeenshire LEADER Local Action Group and Aberdeenshire Council which has been approved in principle.

Once all is in place, a grant of £53,541.13 will be available for the initial phase of the project to make the building suitable for office accomodation.

Further funding of £8,000 will also be made available from the council’s area committee budget, subject to confirmation of the LEADER support.

STP have also secured a loan of £100,000 from Social Investment Scotland, which will be used after completion of the initial phase. Other funding will be sought for additional phases of work.

A group spokeswoman said: “The benefit of this project is that a historical building which is currently looking forlorn and is empty, and for which no other use has been suggested, can now be seen to have a productive future for the benefit of the community of Stonehaven and the surrounding area.

“The court building will be a fantastic community asset and STP are excited by the prospect of delivering this project for Stonehaven.”