Dunnichen Church for the community

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THE FUTURE of a local historic building has been secured.

The Scottish Government has granted the Dunnichen Community Company (DCC) permission to buy-out the former building of Dunnichen Church.

In August, the Scottish Government made the decision to give the DCC the rights to take over the Dunnichen Church Land.

The DCC hope to use the space as a community heritage and exhibition facility as well as a meeting place for local groups after the church closed in August 2011.

The DCC were also keen to prevent the historic building, which dates back to 1802, from falling into disrepair or becoming a private building and it was with this spirit in mind they looked to making it a truly community-centred venture.

Scottish Government Ministers granted the proposal for a number of reasons.

The requirement of a significant portion of the community voting in support of the proposal was sufficiently met. Out of 222 people voting, 208 voted in favour - this is 93.7 per cent of the vote. Therefore more than adequate for Scottish Government guidelines.

Government Ministers also approved of the planned uses for the site such as providing the heritage resource and associated facilities.

They approved of the DCC’s intention to provide space for a crafts club and a children’s library as well as allowing use for the whole community for a variety of functions such as parties, weddings and theatre productions.

The DCC plan to carefully excavate the church site in association with accredited archaeological organisations. Volunteers may be able to get involved in this and the possibility of summer schools associated with any projects has been mooted.

In their statement of approval the Scottish Government said: “The Scottish Ministers are satisfied the proposed purchase of land is in the public interest as DCC’s aspirations show serious intent to address directly the needs of the local community of Dunnichen and the wider area.

“There is no evidence to suggest the proposals would disadvantage the wider community, the environment or the economy.”