“STP - An Organisation Which Gets Things Done” this was the message from Douglas Samways, Chair of Stonehaven Town Partnership, when he gave his report to the AGM of the organisation.
He cited the examples of the Queen Elizabeth Caravan Site and the Tolbooth Museum. Leases for the caravan site had now been successfully completed handing it over to the Caravan Club of Great Britain after having been successfully run by STP for the current season. Contractors had now moved onto the site to start the £1.7M facelift into what the Caravan Club believes will be a “cracking good site”. Douglas said the site should, weather permitting, be open by early summer 2013 and would bring significant benefits to the town by way of increased visitors to the area.
Moving on to the Tolbooth which faced immediate closure back in March 2011, STP and Stonehaven & District Community Council and with others as well, worked in partnership to form the Tolbooth Group to ensure the future of the historical building. STP took on the job of managing the financial side of the museum. Douglas reported to the meeting that the funds STP held in trust for the museum, had now been handed back to the newly formed Tolbooth SCIO which continues to enjoy increasing visitor numbers.
Looking to the future, Douglas said that more exciting projects were underway. The refurbishment of the Town House – known locally as the Clock Tower - in the Auld Toon was now a reality with substantial funds being provided by Aberdeenshire Council to pay for the much-needed repairs. If STP was given the go ahead to lead this project then they would aim to employ local craftsmen to carry out the job of making the building not only wind and water tight but also improving and enhancing its appearance.
He went on to say that the vision of an all-weather sports facility was now very much alive. Fronted by Stonehaven and District Community Council headed by chair, Mike Innes, and in partnership with STP, the proposal is for an area within the town which could, as the name suggests, be utilised by many sports groups and organisations in all weathers.
In conclusion, the chairman thanked his co-directors for supporting him so well throughout the year and also Aberdeenshire Council Area Manager, Willie Munro who gave an amusing talk based on Dickens’ Scrooge but centred on Stonehaven past, present and future. The new STP Directors for the next year are Douglas Samways, Chair, David Fleming, Secretary, Frank Budd, Wynne Edwards, Alan McConachie, Allan Sutherland and Michelle Ward. There are a further 5 vacancies to be filled and Douglas called on STP groups to put forward candidates for the vacant directorships.