Aberlour station plan is a model all communities should follow

Aberlour Station (pic: John Carter)

Plans to hand over an old railway station to a community group were given the green light on Tuesday – and hailed as a ‘model’ for any local group seeking a transfer of property under Community Asset Transfer (CAT) legislation.

Councillors at the policy and resources committee were unanimous in their praise of the Aberlour Community Association bid to take over the former railway station in their village.

The Association will now press ahead with their plans to develop and improve the site and with that provide a boost the tourism in the village.

A ‘trial run’ of their visitor centre being run alongside the café facility operated for several years on the site led to over 4000 visitors from 32 countries calling in at the station. Now the Community Association say the CAT allows them to build on that, with an earlier opening and later closing this year.

Councillors had nothing but praise for the manner in which the Association had prepared and executed their takeover plans, with Councillor John Cowe saying: “The business case demonstrated the strong support the community association had locally.

“The group has the skill and experience to make a success of the project long term.”

Speyside/Glenlivet councillor Pearl Paul was also delighted that the asset transfer was successful, saying: “I think the Aberlour Community Association thoroughly deserves our support.”

These sentiments were echoed by Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross, who said he had used the café facility on a regular basis: “This report is a perfect example of what we are looking for in a community asset transfer.”

The Aberlour Community Association have said that they would delighted to discuss how they went about their plans with any other community group in Moray who wished to follow the same path.

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