Banff Vinery Community Space2 Sep 2022
Banff Vinery Community Space Opens Sunday 27th August
The Vinery, a brand-new community space situated in the coastal town of Banff, which has been restored and regenerated with help from the Scottish Government, Aberdeenshire Council and the lead provider, local charity Aberdeen Foyer, officially opened on Saturday 27th August 2022.
Run by The Foyer, The Vinery provides opportunities for people to try new things, develop confidence, learn new life skills and broaden their experiences in a welcoming and accessible facility. Activities are focused around improving health and wellbeing through mindfulness, exercise, therapeutic sessions, training and accredited learning.
The aim of the centre is to help alleviate the impact of poverty and support individuals by working alongside them to attain and sustain employment. Aberdeen Foyer in partnership with community groups is delivering a wide-range of activities, utilising The Vinery’s impressive indoor and outdoor spaces.
The Foyer has been working with the DWP and local Job Centre plus teams to identify and select long-term unemployed people for roles at The Vinery. The Long Term Unemployed (LTU) scheme, funded by Scottish Government, seeks to boost employment opportunities, and enhance skill levels for individuals aged 25 and over.
Nine people have already been recruited under the scheme and roles include a chef, gardener, community engagement officer, general assistant and digital and media assistant. Staff have already undertaken various training opportunities including food hygiene, first aid, health and safety, boundaries, child, and adult protection.
The doors officially opened with a free celebration event on Saturday 27th August within the grounds of the facility and hosted local businesses and community groups, showcasing just a few of the fantastic activities the space can offer.
Welcoming the formal opening of the Vinery, Banff and Buchan Area Committee chair Cllr Doreen Mair said: “I am delighted to see the completion of this wonderful restoration and regeneration project in the heart of Banff. This is a truly wonderful community asset fit for the 21st century and I have every confidence that Aberdeen Foyer will be an outstanding operator of the Vinery in the years ahead and will work alongside residents to develop innovative new ideas to help nurture both stronger individuals and the wider community.”
Clare Bancroft - Aberdeen Foyer Project Lead for The Vinery said:
“It’s fantastic to see everything coming together and the hard work of The Foyer, Aberdeenshire Council and our community groups finally realised. We’re also so proud of our new team members who have put a huge amount of effort into training for their new roles. We’re delighted and excited to be welcoming everyone to this special and unique community space.”
Back in 2019, the community identified the preferred use for the buildings as a community garden and horticultural skills base. Following a highly competitive process, Aberdeenshire Council received £663,768 in a second stage funding application to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for the continued development of the GrowBanff@The Vinery project.
The Vinery project was also awarded £200,131 through Aberdeenshire Council’s allocation of the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund to undertake Stage 1 of the refurbishment of the site which has included repairs to part of the Bothy structure.
Originally constructed in the Duff House estate to grow grapes, the Vinery building was a gift to the town along with the gardens it sits in by the Duff family. The recent works were completed by local contractor Ken Barbour Ltd.
The Vinery has also benefited from local individuals and businesses donating items such as gardening and catering equipment and is still trying to source items such as folding tables and chairs, a freezer, planters and tools.