Bright future on horizon for Buchanhaven

A Buchan group has completed the first stage of its consultation on how to regenerate Peterhead.

The Buchanhaven Heritage Society published its first booklet recently, which consists of a range of ideas on how to improve Buchanhaven. This follows the Planning For Real event in May, where members of the public got the chance to discuss what they liked and disliked about Buchanhaven and Peterhead town centre.

The centrepiece of the society’s development plans is the regeneration of The Former School, Peterhead. Under the proposals, the old school building would be transformed into a multi-purpose cafe. The proposed cafe would be available for community use in the evenings and weekends, including for art, crafts and knitting classes. It would also include exhibition space for artwork and old photographs.

Commenting, Alex Geddes of the Buchanhaven Heritage Society said: “We think the building blocks are now in place. We’re hoping the next step will be to transfer the asset from the local authority to the community.

“We have had huge support from the Buchan Development Partnership, they do a lot of work in the background. Without the BDP we would have got there, but the road would have been a lot harder. We hope to retain strong links with the BDP in the future.

“The cafe is a high priority of the development. We hope the cafe could be used for evening classes and heritage events. We’re really hoping to bring different generations together.”

The Buchanhaven Heritage Society started its work unofficially in August 2011 and currently has eight volunteer members.

Having consulted with the community, the society now hopes to move towards building the business case for the development.

Peterhead North & Rattray SNP councillors Anne Allan and Fiona McRae have welcomed the publication of the 2012 Community Action Plan for Buchanhaven.

Anne said: “This group is one of the most active community groups in Peterhead and I am delighted to support them.

“They have engendered a new community spirit in Buchanhaven over the past months, organising lots of things for families to do, from the Gala day to craft fairs, art exhibitions and history and heritage events.

“The community has really got behind this group with every event packed out. This Action plan will now guide their steps as they move forward towards their goals.”

Fiona added: “Buchanhaven Heritage Society and the Buchan Development Partnership are to be commended for taking the initiative and asking the local community for their views on a range of matters.

“The resulting document is an impressive one, drawing together community views and provides a blueprint for further action.”