New education centre opened at Duthie Park

The Education Room in the David Welch Winter Gardens used to run workshops for school groups has re-opened after a £65,000 refurbishment.

The work, which includes new glazing, flooring and a sink unit, means the building is now wind and water tight making it a lot warmer and pleasant to be in.

The refurbishment to the Education Room, which is next to the Japanese Garden, was funded by £40,000 from the Education and Children’s Services committee revenue underspend and remainder from the late Lorna Doreen Russell Legacy Fund.

Aberdeen City Council Education and Children’s Services convener Councillor Angela Taylor said: “The refurbishment of the Education Room will make such a difference to the many school and community groups who use the facility to make lots of craft projects or hold meetings.

“Duthie Park and the Winter Gardens are already one of the most-visited attractions in the city and improving the facilities there will help to make it even more popular..

“The 134-year-old park had a £5million refurbishment re-opening in 2013, with funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Aberdeen City Council, which considerably improved its facilities.

“The Winter Gardens, as the name suggests, is a fantastic year-round place to visit along with other facilities at the park including the playparks, water features, and the Japanese Garden.

“It is already an exciting place to go with lots to do for all the family and I’m sure the refurbished Education Room will make it even more attractive.”

The Education Room was originally part of the Glasgow Garden Festival in the mid-1980s and was moved to Aberdeen’s Winter Gardens afterwards. It was used as a reptile house during the 1990s.

Currently, the room is used by the Duthie Park Ranger Service to run workshops for school groups, and the service’s holiday sessions, and it was recently used for Wreath Making Workshops run by the Ranger Service. The Friends of Duthie Park also use the room for its monthly group meetings.

The refurbishments to the Education Room means it will be an added resource to Duthie Park as additional workshops and activities can now be held.

Alan Amoore, chairman of Friends of Duthie Park, said: “The new flooring, glazing and blinds in the room make such a difference and it’s fantastic to have a facility that is now fit for purpose within the Winter Gardens.

“There are still some finishing touches to be applied in terms of additional fittings and the Friends will be contributing towards their completion.”

Last month (December), there was additional good news for the park when it was revealed the park’s café is to re-open in the Spring after a major refurbishment.