Courthouse gets a new lease of life

The new-look Stonehaven courthouse was officially opened last Thursday. Picture: Martin Sim
The new-look Stonehaven courthouse was officially opened last Thursday. Picture: Martin Sim

Stonehaven’s former courthouse has been brought back into used as a community hub.

The building has been transformed in a major project undertaken by local volunteers.

It was officially opened in its new role at a ceremony last Thursday by STV presenter Andrea Brymer.

The sheriff court was closed in 2014 when services were centralised in Aberdeen.

Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) took it over for a nominal sum of £1 through a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) from the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Services (SCTS).

STP had undertaken a community consultation which revealed that people wanted to preserve the courthouse and have it used by local groups and organisations.

The project to renovate the building and to sign up the tenants has been carried out by STP with project management assistance from local company IDD and local building contractor Roger Barnett.

Two STP trustees, Jim Douglas and John Robson, provided the lead on the project in both identifying and securing the tenants and planning and organising the refurbishment and upgrade.

The work was carried out in two separate phases for the ground floor and the upper floor.

Financing of the renovations was through a combination of loans against the building and grant funding.

STP chairman Jim Stephen said he was delighted with all the support they had received.

He added that he was proud of the new facility, which would be a great asset to the town.

Local Councillor Sarah Dickinson praised the project.

She said: “The Stonehaven Town Partnership showed their vision and boldness as a group when they took on this project.

“It is no small feat to bring the courthouse back into use and it is fantastic to see all their efforts and determination come to fruition in a hub for so many valued third sector organisations, in particular.

“I applaud and thank them for the tremendous amount of work done for the benefit of the town.”