A £500,000 project to rejuvenate Portsoy’s last remaining church is nearing completion.
The place of worship on Seafield Terrace has undergone a significant transformation and will soon reopen as the Portsoy Church Centre.
Its facilities will be made available for use by the congregation and the entire community and its hoped it will become a valuable resource for all.
Those behind the project hope the work will be finished in time for the town’s biggest event of the year – the internationally acclaimed Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival.
The work has been made possible thanks to grants from the Aberdeenshire Leader Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Miridor.
The transformation has included the demolition of an outdated extension and construction of a new extension that houses a meeting room and modern kitchen.
New flooring has also been laid in the main mail, while the roof has also been repaired, underfloor hearing installed and the stage removed.
It’s hoped the centre will meet long-standing demand for a community space with catering facilities in the town – and one that has the capability of hosting professional caterers.
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Ian Whewell, convener of the church and project coordinator for the renovation, is hopeful the restoration will be complete for the boat festival, as the church guild serve teas and sandwiches at the annual event.
He said: “It’s all very exciting.
“It has been a real team effort to raise the money and get the work done.
“We’re hopeful everything will be operational and all the appropriate permissions in place for us to be in for the festival.
“We take part every year and it’s a great fundraiser too.
“The festival will be on June 22, and there’s still quite a lot to do before then, but our contractors have assured us they will be done.
“We’ve still got scaffolding around the clock tower and that has to go before internal works can finish and the disabled access driveway can be completed.”
Mr Whewell added: “As well as having this new facility, which is for the use of the whole community, we’ll be opening our exhibition of the area’s religious heritage, showcasing various items from Portsoy’s churches and recalling their history.
“We used to be one of many churches, but now we’re the only one left.”