Go-ahead for Stoney Court building

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Ownership of Stonehaven’s disused Court building has officially been transferred to Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) for use by the community of the town.

STP’s outgoing chairman David Fleming told the Leader this week that they have now received from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service the formal approval of STP’s business plan to transfer ownership of the building in Dunnottar Avenue to STP under a Community Asset Transfer arrangement.

STP plan to build a strong community facility in the building involving a number of well-known volunteer-based charities serving the local community, such the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, PAMIS and K&D Befriending.

“This crowns a very successful year for STP” said Mr Fleming. “What with seeing the enjoyment of some 6,200 passengers on the now double-carriaged Land Train and the enthusiasm in the start-up of the Grande Promenade idea.”

“All we need now is someone in the Town to put themselves forward as a new chairman of this very successful voluntary organisation at the forthcoming AGM. Anyone interested in the role of Chairman is asked to get in touch with David at david@stpweb.org or 01569 767200, or come along to the AGM to be held in the Invercarron Resource Centre at 7pm on November 23.

“We are also looking for a generous benefactor or two to help with £150,000 bill for the necessary refurbishments.”

The Stonehaven Court Building is currently owned and managed by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, but has lain empty and unused since the Sheriff Court and the Justice of the Peace Court ceased operations there in May 2014. The historic building is Grade B listed. Parts of it date back to 1779, and its imposing Victorian frontage is a landmark in the Town at the junctions of Dunnottar Avenue, High Street and Bridgefield. The Courts occupied half of the building. The other half is still owned and occupied by Police Scotland, and their continuing operations will remain unaffected by STP’s plans.

Jane Neilson-Adams, Manager of Kincardine and Mearns Citizens Advice Bureau, welcomed the news. “We are thrilled that STP’s proposal for the use of the old Stonehaven Sherriff Court has been accepted. Using this space will allow us to expand our services in Stonehaven as demand for the CAB service has meant we have already outgrown our current premises. This project and the organisations involved bring great benefit to the community and it is so positive to see it develop”’

David Fleming commented, “We now have a great team of Trustees, most of whom are intending to stand for re-election, a strong balance sheet, and a superb infrastructure of support. The new chairman can rely on that support to build on STP’s strengths, and carry on building a better Stonehaven.” At the AGM there will be four or five vacancies for Trustees open for nomination. Any club or organisation in the Town is welcome to put forward candidates.