AN ABERDEEN village scooped two top awards in recognition of its £3.6m state-of-the-art community centre at a special awards ceremony held recently.
Newton Dee, in Bieldside, which unveiled the Phoenix Community Centre in July was presented with the awards by the Aberdeen Civic Society, an organisation that recognises those who have contributed to the amenity of the city by means of new buildings or the restoration and preservation of old buildings.
The awards hosted by the Aberdeen City Council, at the Town and County Hall in the Town House was attended by around 50 people. The Civic Society Awards committee, comprising of representatives from the main civic society, the Society of Architecture, the Heritage Trust and the Aberdeen City Council, nominated the community centre for the main award and craftsmanship categories.
A spokesman from the Aberdeen Civic Society said: “ We were really impressed with the Phoenix Community Centre at Newton Dee. It is a lovely building that fits really well with the surroundings of the village which has been designed exceptionally well both inside and out. The high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail in the woodwork and joinery, which was executed to the highest of standards, was also a key deciding factor. The civic society is ultimately concerned with the health and well-being of city spaces and we feel the community centre is a deserving winner.”
Newton Dee, which offers supported accommodation for adults with special and complex needs, provides an environment where the residents can enjoy an independent home life whilst maintaining a daily working life with responsibilities. The village is home to almost 200 residents and co-workers and includes a coffee shop, grocery store, metal workshop and two farms on-site.
The Phoenix Community Centre, which took 16 months to complete, houses a 250-seater auditorium, activity rooms, multi-purpose space and office accommodation. Built using an innovative timber and glass design system, the centre was opened to offer a flexible space for the residents groups and activities as well as for the wider community to host events and exhibitions.
A Trustee at Newton Dee, Alan Brown, said: “The community centre has been a great addition to the village. It has allowed us to host plays, shows and exhibitions with performances from the residents at Newton Dee as well as local musicians and artists. In November we hosted our annual advent fair for residents and the public and it was an incredibly successful day for all the family. It was a perfect opportunity for us to showcase the centre in all its glory.”
Fundraising for the centre took two years, with half the funding coming from public appeals made through The Camphill Village Trust (CVT), an additional quarter from CVT’s reserves and the remaining quarter came from Newton Dee’s own activities, including sales from the village’s farms, gardens and workshops.
The building has environmental benefits, and incorporates eco-friendly features such as LED lighting to reduce energy use as well as heat recovery ventilation. The building’s interior is made out of laminate wood, which is assembled in pieces and reduces the amount of timber needed for the build.
Newton Dee is a registered charity. An on-site coffee and gift shop, grocery store, bakery and toyshop are open to the public to help continually raise funds for the facility.
Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of Newton Dee.