Warmer inside but some way to go for Fochabers Institute

Fochabers Institute - almost £750k needs to be invested
Fochabers Institute – almost £750k needs to be invested

TRANSFORMATION PLANS FOR a landmark Moray building are progressing well – but the community group charged with restoring the Fochabers Institute warn that there is some way to go.

While the 100-year-old building now boasts a biomass boiler in place of the archaic heating system with solar panels also being fitted to the roof at the weekend, the Fochabers Village Association say that it will cost almost three quarters of a million pounds to bring the building to an acceptable modern standard.

After months of negotiation Moray Councillors agreed earlier this year to hand over the building to the Association, pledging £150,000 towards urgent repairs as well as waiving the £100,000 value placed on the Institute.

A Community Asset Transfer was agreed in June and that sparked a hectic period where the initial work was put in place – but there is some way to go if the building is to meet the long-term target of becoming a suitable venue for stage shows, art events and concerts.

Village association chairman Gordon Christie said: “We have been encouraged by the public support we have had and our main aim is now to collect the money we need to carry out further repairs.

“We are looking to stage our own fundraising events as well as applying for grants from different bodies.”

The general public will have an opportunity to look for themselves and discuss the future plans at an open night being held on November 18 at 7.30pm.