Consultations undertaken in 2008-09 on establishment of HDDT identified a community desire to see development of a town centre Huntly Hub. The Hub is the concept of a building hosting multi-community groups and activities. The underlying thought was that such a building should drive increased footfall to the town centre. For HDDT, it could provide a property asset.
During the consultations, the exact nature of the Hub – its location or mix of uses – was not defined. Proposed uses have included:
- Heritage Centre for George MacDonald (and other famous Huntly people)
- An internet café
- Outlet for the promotion/sale of local produce
Various potential buildings have been considered by successive HDDT Boards and, given that any building project of this nature would probably require major capital expenditure if it were to proceed and involve significant ongoing revenue costs, a robust options appraisal/ feasibility study was felt to be an essential first step. HDDT commissioned Douglas Wheeler Associates to undertake that feasibility study which was concluded in May 2011.
Download the report here Huntly Hub Final 230511
The results of the study have been overtaken by events. In autumn 2011, HDDT became aware that the landmark Huntly Hotel on The Square was for sale. Given the buildings prominent location and its size, the building offers great potential for an attractive, multifunctional town centre ‘hub’ building providing a range of community and visitor services. If successful, the project should kick-start regeneration of the whole town centre by increasing footfall to, and confidence in, the traditional heart of Huntly and District.
HDDT has sourced support from the Big Lottery’s Investing in Ideas fund to investigate the potential and the risks attached to the project. Key to making the project work is identifying the right mix of uses. Current ideas envisage a mix of events spaces, cafe/restaurant, training rooms, heritage showcase, self-catering visitor accommodation and a nursery. Full opportunity will be provided to Community Planning partners to get involved and deliver services.
If developed successfully, the building will provide opportunities for our whole community to meet, showcase its talents, promote its produce and enjoy its heritage better and more often.
Please contact us if you would like to be involved in helping us develop this project.