Fraserburgh's Faithlie Centre to reopen as extensive redevelopment reaches completion

Fraserburgh’s landmark Faithlie Centre on Saltoun Square is to open its doors to customers on Monday (February 24) following significant investment and redevelopment.

By Morag Kuc
Friday, 21st February 2020, 1:41 pm
The upgraded building will soon also provide a new home for the Fraserburgh Enterprise Hub
The upgraded building will soon also provide a new home for the Fraserburgh Enterprise Hub

Work on the project began in May 2017 to provide space for a range of council services and facilities for community and civic functions.

The upgraded building will soon also provide a new home for the Fraserburgh Enterprise Hub, which supports and contributes to the regeneration of the town and its surrounding communities by empowering individuals and businesses to stimulate economic growth.

Meetings of the Banff & Buchan Area Committee will be held in the centre’s refurbished council chamber that will also be available for use for civil marriage ceremonies and public functions.

Inside is bright, modern and spacious.

As some services will be moving to the centre over the coming weeks, temporary reception arrangements for the centre will initially be in place, with a customer service point due to be established in the coming months.

The restoration has been a key project in the development of the Fraserburgh 2021 Regeneration Scheme and has been led by Aberdeenshire Council in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Government Regeneration

Capital Grant Fund, among others.

The redevelopment has seen the use of both traditional and modern skills to protect and enhance the traditional elements of the building while increasing floorspace with a striking metal-clad extension.

One of the meeting rooms.

The project has faced challenges along the way, most notably following the collapse of the original contractor, but was set back on track when Morrison Construction was appointed last Spring to complete the work.

A number of visual milestones were reached as work progressed, with the restoration of the cupola on the corner of the centre being closed followed by the return of the refurbished statue of Lord Saltoun.

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Jim Gifford said: “This project is important for so many reasons. Not only does it bring an historic, town-centre building back into use, it provides access to a range of services under one roof.

“I hope the Faithlie Centre quickly becomes a focal point for the community and a symbol for the wider regeneration work taking place in Fraserburgh.

Banff and Buchan Area Committee chair Cllr Andy Kille said: “It really is a great feeling to reach this stage and to see the doors re-open to the Faithlie Centre after years of hard work.

“There have been significant challenges to overcome but we’ve met them head on, and I would like to thank all of the project partners for getting us where we are today.”

Customers will be able to see the transformation of the building for themselves when the doors open from 10am on Monday. From Tuesday onwards the building will be open from 9am-5pm.

Services initially available from the Faithlie Centre will include the housing service’s tenancy services and housing options teams, the Aberdeenshire Support and Advice Team, and cash collections. The registration of births, marriages and deaths will be available on site in due course.

Work is also underway to develop a community hub within the centre which would operate on Saturdays and two evenings through the week. The hub will support people to improve and develop skills through accredited courses, reduce household costs through income maximisation and provide free access to digital services.

The project is being developed in partnership with Social Security Scotland, Aberdeen Foyer, [email protected], and employability partners, while training courses delivered will be accredited by North East Scotland College.

Taster sessions are to be organised and childcare options are to be put in place to make it easier for parents and carers to undertake courses.

As parking in the town centre is limited, customers are encouraged to visit on foot where possible. A small number of parking spaces for visitors with disabilities are available.