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Case Studies > Supporting the local community

Learney Estate

Case Study Supporting the local community Learney Estate
Case Study Supporting the local community Learney Estate, situated to the northwest of the village of Torphins in Aberdeenshire, has a long history of delivering benefit for the community, recently donating additional land in order for the kirk to have an extension built.

Mid Deeside Church has been extended to ensure that the facilities are warm, comfortable and suitable for modern needs. This new space provides a much-needed place for both church and community groups to use. In addition to accommodating the church youth group, girl guides and guild meetings, the church also hosts ‘kettlecise’ classes, the after-school running club and Mahjong sessions.

Land has also been made available to Aberdeenshire Council to allow for an extension to the Learney Hall to be built. The estate has also forgone any financial benefit from the sale of the schoolhouse, provided the proceeds are used for further community facilities. Both the hall and the church were built by the estate, along with the village manse and hotel. Land was also leased at very favourable terms for a golf course, tennis courts and bowling green. All facilities are still in use by the community today.

The estate provides affordable rented accommodation and continues to renovate the current housing stock. Long-term lets are preferred so as to help retain the community of Torphins. There are also plans to build more housing at the edge of the village to provide further accommodation for those who are keen to live within the community. It is hoped to include a village square and additional village walks within any housing schemes developed by the estate.

Learney estate has a community woodland beside the church, which is owned by the estate and which has been used by the village for community purposes since the 1920's. The wood is often used by local groups such as cubs and scouts, and is also used as a base for a forest school.

Commenting on the visit to the woods, Jill Birch said: “The playgroup children have again had an amazing time – they were very excited to spend time each week in the woods and enjoyed themselves immensely. During the sessions we have looked for insects, discovered all about woodland animals, built dens and played lots of hide n’ seek! The children have really benefited from such close contact with nature – one or two had not been in a wood before.”

The estate forestry roads have been used to host sponsored walks for raising money for both the local school and church. Local access is encouraged with walkers, joggers and local groups all using the woodland on a regular basis.

Cecilia Grant of Learney Estate said: “I was brought up in the area and attended the local school, as did my father and grandfather and am proud of the contribution my family has made to the community. We will continue to support projects in and around the village, and look forward to further community facility projects coming to fruition in due course.”
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