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Building for the Future Community Project secures Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland investment
Mannofield Parish Church Aberdeen has received confirmed grants of up to £100,700 towards its Building for the Future Community project from both the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Environment Scotland. These grants along with congregational fundraising and the financial support of a number of successful Trust applications bring the overall total raised for the project to £1.4 million.
The project aims to repair and upgrade the church buildings to secure the future of this historic church including dry rot eradication in the church and halls and essential repairs to the steeple and stained glass windows. Upgrading the sanctuary will allow disabled users better access. Modern presentation facilities and pew removal will create space for concerts, exhibitions and community use.
It is hoped that the work which started in late October will be completed by the end of May 2016 with the sanctuary open for worship and the halls for community use by early July 2016.
Apart from carrying out essential conservation work and refurbishing and upgrading the church and halls with additional space being created for letting to community organisations, an interpretative exhibition is being produced tracing the history and development of the church in the context of the Mannofield area and community.
Educational material for schools that links with our core exhibition material and curriculum outcomes will make this a user friendly resource for schools. The Greeting Hall will be the hub for all the onsite heritage activity. It will feature a static welcome panel and a wall-mounted interactive touchscreen with historical information. Leaflets will be displayed here and volunteer guides will give talks or introduce tours and activities in this space. The touchscreen will provide an engaging means through which children can explore the heritage of the Church and local area. This will be enhanced by tailor- made educational resources and specially trained education volunteers.
Mannofield Church which was built in 1882 has always been at the heart of its community, sitting as it does on the main road through Aberdeen to Royal Deeside. As a Parish Church, we have always played our part in reaching out to the community to develop strong relationships and to offer a wide range of activities.
Prior to the current works 11 youth groups, 9 church groups and 17 community groups used the facilities. With modern, well managed facilities the scope of the activities and services we will be able to provide will increase significantly and be extended and enhanced to effectively meet the needs of different generations in the years to come.
Commenting on the award Rev Keith Blackwood said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland have given us this support. The Church has been part of the landscape of this part of Aberdeen before housing, commerce and the community of Mannofield in general became established and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving the wonderful building for another century.
The congregation look forward to sharing the building with the community and using the space to allow people to interact with heritage of the building and benefit from the worship and activities that are offered within its walls.”
Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Scotland’s historic and diverse places of worship are so often at the heart of our communities. Thanks to National Lottery players HLF funds urgent structural repairs and also improved facilities and visitor information. The “Mannofield Community Project - Building for the Future” is an excellent example of how HLF can help conserve a much loved building so it can continue to serve its local community.”