Kintore Town House, which has taken pride of place in the centre of Kintore since the 18th century, is a fitting centrepiece for a town that received its first charter as a Royal Burgh in the 12th century.
But, since the disbanding of the Kintore Burgh Council at the time of the local government reorganisation in the 1970s, the Town House has no longer been at the centre of our community.
Over the past two years, work has been going on in the background to try to bring the iconic building back into community use. At the recent Garioch Area Committee councillors endorsed moves to redevelop the Town House for community use.
The result is a feasibility study prepared by a team led by Malcolm Fraser, an architect experienced in redeveloping historic buildings.
The plan is to turn the upper floor of the west wing into a space that could be used for small community events, film shows or performances. This proposed auditorium would also be available for hire for company events, product launch events, or private events such as weddings.
It is envisaged this space would have capacity for up to 114 people. The outline proposal includes connecting this auditorium through to the council chamber which could be used as a reception area, or space for break out sessions, coffee or a bar.
The feasibility study envisages a small extension at the back of the Town House to provide improved access and also a lift for disabled access to the upper floors.
Below the auditorium, on the ground floor of the west wing, the floorspace would be dedicated to services, with a new internal stairway to the upper floors.
The former jail in the middle of the old building, accessed below the double stairs and from the extension at the back, is envisaged as a small museum/display area in which to showcase the wealth of history in the Kintore area, from neolithic times, through to the Picts and the Roman Camp at Deer’s Den and more recent heritage.
The ground floor office, below the council chamber, would be leased out on the commercial market to provide income to support the project. The ambition for this space would be to find a commercial use that would also be an attraction, drawing people into the centre of Kintore to increase footfall for the existing businesses in the centre of town.
You can read more about the plans in the Kintore Town House Feasibility Study which you can download and read (PDF).
Of course, a project like this can only become a reality with enthusiastic support from the community.
Current thoughts are to progress the project under the existing community organisation Action Kintore, which was behind the establishment of the Bothie youth centre
If you are interested in finding out more about the project and would be keen to get involved to make it happen, please contact Kintore and District Community Council