Group decide to press ahead with Buckie Drifter music plan

A community asset transfer application is to be launched at Moray Council after more than 50 people turned out at a public meeting to discuss a possible future for the Buckie Drifter.

When it was opened in 1994 the building was thought to have a bright future as a tourism centre relating the story of Moray’s fishing communities through the ages.

The centre received a boost in 2001 when the Princess Royal paid a visit – however, just four years later it had to be closed because of falling visitor numbers and rising costs.

Now the building could be set for a future as a music education centre and concert venue after local musician James Alexander sought support for the idea.

A meeting was called on Wednesday to probe any local interest in turning the building into a music school – there was, and now a new group will seek charitable status before creating a business plan to support a community asset transfer application.

Buckie councillor Gordon McDonald said: “If we manage to get this off the ground it’s going to be something unique in Scotland.

“Although there is a traditional music centre in Plockton it is on nothing like the scale that this will be. A music centre will be of enormous benefit not just to Buckie or even Moray but to the whole of the country.

“As part of their courses the students will be required to go out into the community and play – so local hotels, pubs and even nursing homes would also gain.”

Ahead of the meeting Mr Alexander commented: “At the moment people who want to pursue a career in music has to travel south to Edinburgh or Glasgow to study and often that is the last we see of them.

“Having a music school in Buckie would allow young people to stay in the area – and perhaps tempt a few back who have left.”

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