Plans for historic Kintore Town House approved

Plans to bring Kintore’s 18th century Town House back into use for the benefit of the community have been given the green light.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 10:42 am
The plans will bring the ancient Royal Burgh’s 18th century Town House back into use for the benefit of the community.
The plans will bring the ancient Royal Burgh’s 18th century Town House back into use for the benefit of the community.

Plans were lodged by Action Kintore with Aberdeenshire Council last year in a bid to revamp the A-listed building.

The charity has been working alongside Kintore and District Community Council to bring the plans for the 275-year-old building to life.

The development will see a café created on the ground floor and a public hall on the first floor.

Action Kintore is hoping that the Town House will eventually become a venue for various events from theatre and comedy shows to art exhibitions and museum displays.

The group also has plans to make the building a venue for small weddings.

The iconic Town House has stood at the centre of Kintore for 275 years.

It was built by the then Earl of Kintore when he was elected as the Royal Burgh’s Provost.

Throughout its history the building has served many purposes as council chamber, court room, jail, school and police station.

Part of the building once served as a post office and shop.

Jamie Grant, chairman of Kintore and District Community Council, said: “We are delighted that Aberdeenshire Council has granted approval for Action Kintore’s plans to bring Kintore’s historic Town House back into use for the community. But, this is just the start. There will be a considerable amount of work to do, particularly in raising the funds to bring the plans to reality.

“The building of such a prestigious Town House must have been a magnificent statement of civic pride, when it was opened in 1747.

"In recent years the building has not been accessible to the public. The plans that have been approved are aimed at bringing the Town House back into use for the benefit of the local community.”

Brian Johnstone, Chairman of Action Kintore, said: “As a community charity, we would like to record our gratitude to all the organisations and individuals who helped us to get the Town House plans to this stage. Debbie Anderson, chartered conservation architect at Lippe Architects, has passionately progressed an excellent design in conjunction with Aberdeenshire council planning department and Historic Environment Scotland to retain and preserve the full character of this historic building.

“Our sincere thanks go to all of the local contributors, including Aberdeenshire Council and the Architectural Heritage Fund, as, without their support we would not have this design to take forward for the community of Kintore and surrounding area.

“While this is a momentous step in the process, we are aware that there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us as we start the fundraising process to bring this ambitious project to reality. As a historic listed building, the plans are aimed at conserving the structure.

“Essential facilities such as stairs and a lift, for disabled access, are incorporated as glazed extensions, minimising the impact on the appearance of the Town House. The fabric of the original building will be otherwise unchanged, including the distinctive external double stairway and the ogee-roofed clock tower.”

“As one of the ten largest towns in Aberdeenshire, the reopening the Town House will provide Kintore with a prestigious venue for events. It will also bring life back into this historic building.”