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Kintore Town House. Credit - Action Kintore.
Kintore Town House. Credit - Action Kintore.

Creating a Multi-use Community Facility for a Rapidly Growing Town

21 December 2023

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is delighted to announce that it has awarded a Project Development Grant to Action Kintore to progress plans to refurbish the Category A-listed Kintore Town House as a multi-use community facility. This was one of 14 awards made at the latest grants meeting, where projects across the UK were awarded funding totalling £184,052.

Built and upgraded from 1737 onwards, Kintore Town House is an impressive pink granite building of great historical and architectural significance to the community of Kintore. Situated in the town square, the building has had many uses over the years, including a courthouse, schoolhouse, council chambers, and a part-time jail cell. The Town House, which is owned by Aberdeenshire Council, is currently vacant and requires repairs to the pointing and stonework, the curved staircase steps, and the roof, doors and windows.

Kintore is a small town that has expanded by three times its size in the last 15 years. Although new housing has been provided to support this rapid growth, there is a lack of community facilities in the area. To solve this issue, Action Kintore aims to restore Kintore Town House as a prestigious multi-use community facility, which could be used by local community groups, as well as for private functions, Scottish cultural music events, pop-up cinema and pop-up exhibitions. The group is also considering the potential of creating a glazed café extension in a future phase of the project.

To turn the building into a usable, accessible and sustainable community facility, however, the building requires significant refurbishment. Current plans involve removing existing partitioning, opening up space at the first floor to create a 61-seat capacity function room, and creating a pop-up bar/break out area in what is currently the ex-council chamber. The ground floor will accommodate a new commercial kitchen and toilets, as well as retaining space for a commercial venture – specifically, a community café run as a social enterprise.

The Historic Environment Scotland-supported AHF grant will help to progress architectural design work for the project.

Brian Johnstone, Chairman of Action Kintore, said:

“Action Kintore are delighted to receive the grant award from AHF. It enables us to progress the Town House refurbishment onto building warrant design - another exciting step in refurbishing our magnificent Town House, sharing its heritage and bringing it into community use."

To learn more about this project, please visit: HOME | Action Kintore

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