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Stonehaven courthouse to be transformed into a film set

David Fleming of the STP outside Stonehaven Sheriff Court
David Fleming of the STP outside Stonehaven Sheriff Court

Plans have been lodged to transform a former court building in the heart of an Aberdeenshire town into a film set and community facility.

Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) wants to breathe new life into the town’s B-listed sheriff court, which was closed in 2014.

The plans include retaining the main courtroom as a film set or stage for performances or even weddings; whilst the smaller courtroom could be made into a community cafe.

Elsewhere in the building, the STP has suggested providing office space for local groups such as the local Citizens Advice Bureau, Aberdeen Voluntary Action and the Kincardineshire Development Partnership.

Also included are plans for a “changing places” toilet facility for the disabled and their carers – which would be the first of its kind in Stonehaven.

The bid has been submitted to the building’s owners, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for consideration by its estates committee.

If accepted, the group may be able to secure a community asset transfer for the court, which dates back to 1767.

The group narrowed down the most popular options from more than 30 suggested by the community.

STP chairman and the court project’s leader, David Fleming, said: “This is the next big step in a long journey which we hope will bring great benefits to Stonehaven.

“We have managed to incorporate the vast majority of ideas that have been put forward by the majority of people in the community.

“We are just waiting to hear from the court service as to whether our plans are acceptable.

“It was clear the community don’t want either flats or commercial developments or demolition.”

The group has applied for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Greggs Foundation, Hillhead of Auquhirie Wind Farm, Leader and other sources for project funding.

Mr Fleming added: “There is plenty of work still to be done so willing volunteers will be welcome.”

A SCTS spokesman said: “The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has received the business plan from Stonehaven Town Partnership for taking over the former sheriff court building and it is under consideration.”

Any comments on the proposed plans should be submitted to projects@stpweb.org

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