What is ‘A campus for learning and play’ about?

Take a walk north from The Square, along the Avenue to the Castle and west along the Deveron, and you’ll pass a diverse range of well-used and loved facilities, parkland and activities. A campus for learning and play is the start of an ambitious, multi-year initiative for coordinated, high-quality development in this area. Building on the character of the land and buildings within it to enhance this special place for the benefit of locals and visitors alike. The first step on this journey is developing a shared plan for future development.

Why now?

The recent Room to Thrive Strategy highlighted strong support for a campus of learning and leisure facilities that appeals to the local community and visitors alike. Many of the buildings and facilities for learning and play have seen better days or are not fit for their current purpose. As such a number of different organisations and groups have been pursuing independent ambitions for improvements and developments across northern sections of the town. Currently there is no shared plan of what should happen, and with individual projects and ideas being championed there is a risk in duplication, or disparate facilities being introduced rather than a complementary campus for learning and play. By coming together now, momentum can be built behind the Room to Thrive strategy to unlock investment and ultimately deliver improvements.

How has the project came about?

On behalf of the community, Huntly & District Development Trust (HDDT) applied for funding from the Scottish Government's Making Places programme for a community-led decision making project to assist different developments to be taken forward under one coordinated plan. HDDT was succesful in their application and provided an element of match-funding for the project along with a contribution from the Marr Area Partnership. HDDT have engaged Willie Miller Urban Design, Nick Wright Planning and icecream architecture to lead the development of the project and plan in partnership wtih the community.

What part of Huntly is considered to be the campus?

The main focus of the campus is shown in the map below. This has been chosen as one geographic area that contains most of the existing facilities, parkland, activites and opportunities for development. The boundaries can be flexible over time to include developments in other areas or buildings in the town.

What is the project working towards?

To ensure that any developments bring about effective and beneficial change for the town, the project will deliver a coordinated community-led place plan for the area extending north from The Square to the River Deveron. Bringing a focused vision of development in this important part of the town, this approach will ensure each individual development happening over a period of years is done in a way which complements future developments.

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Header image: Huntly Castle, © Alberto Racatumba