The new hybrid vehicle will allow The Vinery in Banff to expand its services

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Vinery in Banff is now using an eight-seat hybrid vehicle that will enable it to expand its services to more people in the communities it serves.

The Grow @ The Vinery community centre, run by Aberdeen Foyer, has been successful in its application to the Just Transition Fund which has awarded it a grant of £46,995.

The funding is a £500m 10-year commitment from the Scottish Government which will support projects in the North East and Moray that contribute to the region’s transition to net zero.

The total amount made available to third sector groups in Aberdeenshire was £333,333 and the grants were towards environmentally friendly projects. The public was able to vote for their favourites.

With the new hybrid vehicle from The Vinery, Claire Bancroft, Assistant General Marcin Krzyzanowski, and Chef Richard Barron are leading the project.  Photo: Kyle Ritchie
With the new hybrid vehicle from The Vinery, Claire Bancroft, Assistant General Marcin Krzyzanowski, and Chef Richard Barron are leading the project. Photo: Kyle Ritchie

The Banff Community Center aims to be a positive and dynamic space that engenders a sense of hope and pride.

There is a kitchen, café area, training space, wellness room and community garden with activities linked to approved learning, work experience, apprenticeships and volunteering.

The overarching goal of the project is to promote environmental awareness and grow community food.

Vinery has sought funding to enable it to increase its outreach, ensuring integration and accessibility of flexible service delivery to disadvantaged individuals, families and communities.

The eight-seater hybrid vehicle will enable it to open up Grow @ The Vinery programs and services, including gardening, cooking, wellbeing and financial inclusion, to more people including those living in Portsoy, Whitehills, Aberchirder, Macduff and more in rural areas.

They face barriers to accessing services including poor transport infrastructure, anxiety about public transport, caring responsibilities, long-term physical/mental health conditions and poverty.

Clare Bancroft, Project Lead at The Vinery, said: “From the beginning our vision has always been to be able to take some of the services we provide to more rural locations and surrounding villages.

“Some of them are very isolated due to the lack of public transportation that exists.

“Being able to go and collect people and bring them to The Vinery and take our sessions that we offer, including cooking, health and wellness, arts and crafts, to these rural communities is absolutely amazing.

“We’ve already run a few different outreach sessions with gardeners and teams of drive-in volunteers.

“It expands the full scope of where The Vinery can go.

“The opportunities are truly endless now, and it’s about listening to communities to find out what they want and feel they need. Then we can try to tailor and deliver our services to meet those needs.

“Everything we do at The Vinery is net zero in mind. Everything we buy is very environmentally friendly and we want to be as kind to the environment as possible.

“It was very important for the car to be electrified and to reduce the carbon footprint.”

The next stage is to find volunteer drivers and anyone interested in these roles can email The Vinery at

The Vinery also has a fundraiser Bidding page only For logos and signature writing on the outside of the car which people can donate.

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