Back to school for Alford Men’s Shed

Moira Ingleby hands over the keys to Men's Shed representatives
Moira Ingleby hands over the keys to Men's Shed representatives

Part of Alford’s former academy has been handed over to the local Men’s Shed to develop community facilities.

The town’s £37million community campus opened in 2015 and Alford and District Men’s Shed requested community asset transfer of a section of the old school site from Aberdeenshire Council.

The group is a registered charity and aims to offer opportunities for men in the area to meet and undertake creative, physical, purposeful and recreational activities of their choice, and to share their skills and knowledge with others.

Following detailed discussion and agreements between the Men’s Shed and the council, the Marr Area Committee agreed to the transfer in January, 2017.

The group will now occupy the former technical block and an adjoining area of land, creating a Men’s Shed, allotments, community orchard and sensory garden.

The deal relied on the demolition of the remainder of the former academy, which was finished in January.

Missives were completed last week when the group took possession of the keys from the council.

Marr Area Committee chair Moira Ingleby said: “The plans the Men’s Shed have for the former technical block and surrounding land are ambitious and will bring great benefits to the community.

“This is a good example of how communities can help shape local facilities working with the council – I wish them the best of luck and look forward to the Shed opening in the near future.”

John Reid, the Men’s Shed secretary, said: “It has taken a long time to get to this stage, but we are delighted to get ownership of the facilities and develop the site for the whole of Alford and District.

“It will be a real challenge to get the shed and the surrounding ground ready for use. We will need to raise substantial amounts of money, but hope within a year to have a functioning shed and a developing project in the orchard area and community garden.”