DRUMOAK CHURCH RENOVATION PROJECT
Back in August 2017 work started on renovating the interior of Drumoak Church. In this section, we would like to share with you our vision as the building is transformed into a multi-purpose facility for both church and community use.
What is the long-term project?
Early in 2015, Drumoak-Durris Church began working in close cooperation with the newly formed Drumoak & Durris Community Group (DDCG) to work towards creating and providing a much needed centrally located community facility in Drumoak.
The DDCG had an application for a Community Asset Transfer of the old Drumoak Primary School building overturned by Aberdeenshire Council and thus, this left the group with the immense problem of having nowhere suitable with which to take forward this community project. During this period, Drumoak-Durris Church was considering the long term options it had for its own buildings and simultaneously was reviewing its role within society with the aim of re-establishing its presence within the community.
Members of the church and the Management Committee of the DDCG joined forces and explored how they could realise this goal of providing a new community facility in Drumoak. The church was fundamentally being asked to open its doors , and invite the community to make use of its buildings seven days a week. As a major stakeholder in this proposal, the church took on the role of taking this project forward. In November 2015, the Church hosted a public meeting in Drumoak Church Hall and presented plans drawn up in alliance with the Management Committee of the DDCG which has been divided into stages - subject to funding being available.
What is happening?
Following our successful application for funding from LEADER and receiving a grant amounting to the value of £87,355, we are in a position to commence the first stage of the refurbishment of Drumoak Church building. Work is planned to start as soon as a contract has been agreed with a local builder.
What is being planned this year?
In this first stage, the church will have a new eco-friendly heating system installed and the walls will be fully insulated. The pews will be removed from the sanctuary to be replaced with comfortable new chairs. The floor in the Chancel area will be levelled to allow for a multi-purpose open plan area to be made available for community use - as is the current church hall - as well as the regular church services. Washroom facilities will be provided, and a commercial kitchen is to be fitted in the Welcome Area. This kitchen will be designed to serve as an interim coffee shop within the church building.
What is an interim coffee shop?
It is a temporary cafe; something to bridge the gap until the next phase of work begins. The next stage of the project is to build a modern cafe/bistro to the southern aspect of the church, with a large glazed frontage overlooking the Dee valley. In order to successfully apply for funding for this later work, we will need to establish whether/if there is a call for such a facility, and it is hoped this interim cafe will provide a customer base for the much larger cafe/bistro. So it will need the support of the community.
This is seen as an attractive local business opportunity, and it is planned for the cafe facility to be offered as a fully fitted coffee shop available for rental or as a profit sharing venture with a local entrepreneur from the locality. More details will be shared later.
What will happen to Drumoak Church Hall?
It was decided at the start of this major project that Drumoak Church Hall was in need of total refurbishment, and the decision was made to incorporate its facilities within the church building. All the present users of the church hall will be invited to make use of the modern more comfortable facilities within the church building. In the longer term, the ground on which the hall stands will probably be required as a car parking facility.