Plans to bring an 18th century building in the heart of an Aberdeenshire town back into use have taken a major step forward.
Kintore’s town house, which dates back almost 300 years, is a Category A-listed building on The Square, and has served many uses over the years.
The charity Action Kintore, along with the local community council, has for years been looking at ways to transform the property into a facility for all residents of the Kintore area to use and enjoy.
The organisation has now submitted a community asset transfer application to Aberdeenshire Council in order to take ownership of the building and move forward with its plans.
Brian Johnstone, chairman of Action Kintore, said: “It’s a wonderful historic building, that was built in 1737 and has been used as a school, shops, town council chambers, and occasionally a jail on a Saturday night, but it’s generally unused right now.
“Our proposal brings it into use for all members of the community, and accessible with a new lift being installed.
“We’re planning to promote cultural events, such as on Pictish and agricultural heritage, and provide a venue for local events like weddings.
“It will be a lettable space, so any community groups will get good, low-cost access to it.
“Kintore is growing at a fast rate, there’s plans for more houses to be built so people are always looking for more and more space.”
He added: “We’ve received grant funding from the architectural heritage fund, and we’ve had fundraising from local businesses in Kintore that have been successful, so we’re now reached our full funding requirements and can proceed.
“We have appointed Lippe architects in Inverurie to keep the work local, and they started in February on the design.
“We’ll have our planning application submitted this year, and later this year hopefully get the asset transfer.
“Once we get the outlined planning permission, we’ll start looking for funding for the project.
“It’s going to be more than a million pounds.
“We’ll have to do a lot of local fundraising, but there’s lottery funding, and a big range of organisations that are able to help fund historic restoration projects.”