Members of a historic former fishing village in Aberdeen have received a £20,000 boost to bring a local hall back into use.
The Fittie Community Development Trust, formed by residents of Footdee, bought the Gospel Hall from the council two years ago and started to redevelop it as a centre for locals to stage gatherings and events in.
Built in the 1950s, the hall was once the focal point for the community and residents hope it can once again become a focal point in the picturesque seaside settlement.
Now the Suez Communities Trust, through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, has awarded the group £17,622 to help finance a new heating system in the building.
Last night, local politicians welcomed the award.
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart wrote to Pauline Brown, the trust’s chairwoman, to congratulate members on all their hard work so far.
Mr Stewart said: “All credit goes to the hard working folks at Fittie Community Development Trust as, without their efforts, the hall would not have the bright future it has today.
“I look forward to the full redevelopment and wish the trust all the very best with their future events.”
George Street and Harbour councillor, Michael Hutchison, added: “After all the amazing work that was done to put this hall in the community’s hands I’m pleased that the trust have been successful in getting funding to modernise it.”
The new funding will be used to replace ageing, inefficient wall heaters with a new heat pump and boiler to provide a warm welcome to visitors and residents.
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The “model village” of Fittie was designed by architect John Smith in 1809 and is the earliest example of municipal planned housing in Aberdeen.
Settlements have existed in the area since the medieval period, with the first recorded reference in 1398, and the council acknowledges it as a conservation area.
From 1990 to 2014, the building was rented as a studio by respected artist and president of the Royal Scottish Academy, Joyce Cairns.
In June 2017, the local authority handed residents control of the hall in the first event community asset transfer performed in Aberdeen.
At the time of buying the Gospel Hall, Trust chairwoman Pauline Brown said it would “provide the community with a physical location to hold meetings and social, recreational and educational clubs and events”.