Bold new design unveiled for Peterhead Baptist Church

Ross Gillespie and Alexander Wilson with the architectural concept model.
Ross Gillespie and Alexander Wilson with the architectural concept model.

The congregation of a historic Peterhead church is waiting for confirmation from Aberdeenshire Council to go ahead with a exciting redevelopment.

The Church Building Group fromPeterhead Baptist Church, based on King Street, have submitted a plan to develop the space between the manse house and church building.

AK Architect's proposed development of Peterhead Baptist Church.

AK Architect's proposed development of Peterhead Baptist Church.

Their proposal also includes demolishing the large hall space to the rear of the church.

The hall was erected in the 1960s and was the last significant development on the site.

Building Group chairman Ross Gillespie said: “Everyone has their own idea of what we want. The facilities we do have are not adequate for what we want.

“It’s about bringing the building into the 21st century and it will help leave a legacy for those who come after us.”

An early estimate of the overall redevelopment cost is £1.5million, money it is hoped can be raised from pledges from within the congregation.

Mr Gillespie said: “What we must do is add value to the church.”

The proposed development includes creating a glass frontage for the new structure, spanning the gap between the manse and the church.

Beyond will be an open air courtyard and beyond that a replacement for the cumbersome 1960s extension.

The Building Group want to make the new spaces as flexible as possible.

The group invited local residents to a meeting within the existing building to lay out the proposal and alay any concerns.

One fear was that the development would significantly increase the size of the congregation and as a result put stress on street parking.

Mr Gillespie has made it clear this is not the aim.

Alexander Wilson from Annie Kenyon Architects, the firm overseeing the project, said: “The 60s generation made their mark, now the 2013 generation get to make theirs.

“The idea initially floated to us was to move the whole church to a greenfield site but before we looked at what we already had and what was possible.

“Since the 1870s the site has developed a lot. It may sound cheesey, but the vision we have is an extension of the what the church is.”

A planning application has been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council and a decision is due in the coming weeks.