Ellon Rotary Club recently heard a presentation by Dominic Fairlie of Scotia Homes on advanced plans for the preservation and enhancement of Ellon Castle gardens.
Some years ago Scotia Homes joined with the Prince’s Foundation to undertake a ground-breaking analysis of the potential for further development in Ellon. Key to that was the protection of the gardens, not only for the benefit of local people but also as an important tourist attraction.
Mr Fairlie said a trust had been set up some years ago with a view to taking over the gardens but that had lain dormant. However, the recent move by Scotia Homes and Barratt to develop land near the castle has led to renewed interest in preserving the gardens.
As part of the development, the companies have accepted an obligation to do so and, while the local authority were not able to take on the maintenance, they were keen to see the gardens held in community ownership.
A form of charitable trust is being set up to take over the gardens and ongoing funding will be provided from a number of sources.
Scotia Homes will donate to the trust a number of properties from which rental income will be earned and they will also provide an endowment for conservation works. Grant aid will also be sought from Historic Scotland.
Rotarian Angus Kerr proposed the vote of thanks.