Plans for 'The Bothie' youth cafe in Kintore

Project to build ‘The Bothie’, a Youth Café on Council-owned land in Allandale Gardens, Kintore

Although Action Kintore Limited received Company status on 16 March 2009, the ‘Action Kintore’ organisation (herein referred to as AK) has in fact existed for approximately two years and was formed specifically to focus on the needs of a growing population of young people, brought about as a result of a significant housing boom in the town.

The Bothie

A survey of young people’s needs had been instigated in 2006 by Kintore Community Council, by canvassing the views of pupils, resident in Kintore, but who attend Inverurie and Kemnay Academies.

The Bothie Youth Cafe

‘The Bothie’ the proposed youth cafe for Kintore. Download details (pdf file 2.3MB)

The overwhelming request was a simple one – a safe, indoor environment for recreational leisure activities with their friends! What was quickly identified was the lack of suitable premises and AK set about developing partnerships to address this, namely the Community Council, a Youth Forum comprising a nucleus of young people and youth workers from Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Learning Dept.

AK organised a Public Meeting at KIntore School on 9 March 2007. Approximately 180 persons attended, including a significant number of young people and there was overwhelming support for the provision of recreational facilities for youth in the town.

Various Council officials and the two local councillors for this area have been supportive from the outset and continue to be so and some of the £14K included in Action Kintore's bank account over the past two years was donated through council grants. This is in addition to its agreement to allocate the site to the project and grant planning permission.
This support is obviously important, as it adds value and credibility to the project.

On the site referred to in the Plans in the e-mail from Dave Chouman, Architect, there previously stood a Council Library, which became defunct and was demolished when the new Primary School was built and a new Library located within it. The Old Library site in Allandale Gardens, Kintore had historically been an informal meeting place for youth. This, combined with its’ central location within the town and having power, water and sewage connections, made it an ideal location and resulted in a Community Council request to the Council that the site be given over for a Youth Café. Council permission was granted for this on 11 September 2007.

As previously stated, AK achieved Company status on 16 March 2009 and became Action Kintore Limited, with 4 Directors and 8 members. AK Ltd. applied for charitable status and this was granted on 21 April 2009.

Members of AK Ltd., the Youth Forum and youth workers from the Community Learning Dept. visited various locations and considered various building options, including a log cabin and a portacabin, but an eco-conscious straw bale structure seen while under construction at Whitehouse, Aberdeenshire made an immediate impact and it became the focus of all efforts thereafter.

Steven Laing from the local, award winning Company, Steven Laing Traditional Masonry had expressed an interest in the project from the outset. In consultation with an Architect, Dave Chouman, Plans were drawn up and an Application for Planning Permission for an eco-conscious building on the site was submitted to the Council and Conditional Planning Permission was granted on 15 September 2009.

On 17 November 2009, the Council offered a 25 year Lease on the land and this is in the process of being finalised.

In addition to youth provision, another community need may be met by the construction of this building. It is envisaged that other small groups and organisations will use it, as it is not only the young people who are disadvantaged as a result of the lack of suitable meeting facilities within Kintore.

The enthusiasm of Youth Forum members has been reflected in its’ fundraising efforts; organising a Business Breakfast; a Car Wash; Bag Packing; joint functions with Balfour Beatty’s Fundraising Team, the latter raising a total of £2676.50. In addition, members have met with elderly residents from the Allandale Gardens area, with a view to demonstrating their wish to be ‘good neighbours’ when the Youth Café is completed and in use.

The acquisition of funding from all possible sources is now a priority. To date:-

  • A local business is donating £10K and other businesses have promised donations.
  • £14K has already been paid into the AK Ltd. Bank Account over the past two years, although almost half has been spent on essential expenditure, like professional Fees and the Planning Application.
  • Grants from various sources (Planning Gain / Council / Private Companies etc.) are being applied for. An organisation called ALTA (Aberdeenshire Local Tobacco Alliance) exists to promote the prevention and cessation of smoking, particularly by young people. It disburses Grants to organisations who agree to participate in its programmes, so where better than a Youth Centre! An application for funding will be submitted to ALTA.
  • An innovative fundraiser will be the corporate and community sponsorship of the 630 straw bales required in the construction of the building. Even at an average of £50 per bale, £31.5K may be realised from that source.
  • Whatever is raised by all the above means, it is anticipated the gross figure will be matched by the LEADER funding programme managed by the Council.

Costing for the project has been split into two phases. Drawings of the buildings are shown on Dave Chouman’s Plans. Phase 1 (the rectangular building) has been estimated to cost £144K and Phase 2 (The drum shaped building) at £71K. The project may have to be completed in two phases and over two years, dependant upon funding.

This is an exciting project and ticks so many boxes relative to youth and the community and in addition, the building design, with straw bales in the walls, a living sedum roof and old tyres used in the foundations is not only unique (it is highly unlikely there is another Youth Centre of this kind in the UK), but also eco-conscious.

Financial support from your organisation would be appreciated, of real benefit and will be officially recorded within the building on its completion.

Kenny Thomson
Action KIntore Ltd.
TN 10467 632668 / 07835 631341

Download pdf file of the plans and location maps (2.3MB)
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