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North-east Scouts launch appeal after discovering new hall needs possible £275,000 refurbishment

Claus Nielsen, Scout Leader of The Marnoch 1st Scout Troop.
Claus Nielsen, Scout Leader of The Marnoch 1st Scout Troop.

A north-east scout group is appealing for donations to breathe new life into the village hall a former member helped them buy.

The 1st Marnoch Scout Troop has secured a meeting place for years to come, having recently collected the keys for Aberchirder Village Hall.

Last year the future of the Scout group was uncertain as they were unable to raise funds to purchase the hall.

However former member Willie Rennie, who is now an oil boss, helped buy his boyhood group a permanent home.

Scout leader Claus Nielsen said now is when “all the hard work really starts”, as he seeks to bring the venue into the 21st century and ensure it can be used by the whole community.

Mr Nielsen said: “Our aim is to provide a recreational and meeting facility for Aberchirder and the surrounding area and encourage people to come together.

“Normally the hall is used on average per week by more than 100 youths for educational activities, and by more than 40 pensioners who use it for recreation.

“But even though our hall is heavily used, very little money has been spent on it in the last decade.”

Quotes have suggested the refurbishment of the building could cost anything between £75,000 and £275,000.

Some of the refurbishment work includes upgrading the heating system, upgrading single glazed windows and insulating the roof.

Mr Nielsen said: “Fundraising is nearly impossible at the moment, we’ve applied for some grants – and there’s more we can still apply for – but this can be a time-consuming process.

“If anyone can help us achieve our goals and make sure that this fairytale can have a happy ending, we’d be grateful for the support.”

The facility will also be used for birthday parties, Christmas parties and as a space for educational activities.

Mr Nielsen said: “We’d like it to be used as a facility to provide kids with learning outwith their classrooms.

“Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to meet with teachers and Aberdeenshire rangers to make this a reality.”

The 1st Marnoch Scout Troop hope to return to the village hall “as soon as possible” however this is dependent on government restrictions and the extent of the refurbishment works.

Those interested in donating should contact aberchirder.village.hall@gmail.com or the 1st Marnoch Scout Troop Facebook page.

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