09 July 2021

£2 million of new investment to support projects across Aberdeenshire given the go-ahead

Fourteen local projects aimed at improving communities and places across Aberdeenshire are to share more than £2 million in new funding to help drive economic recovery, improve our town centres and support regeneration activity.

Earlier this year the Scottish Government announced a £38 million capital injection into the national “Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP)” for 2021-22, with Aberdeenshire’s allocation totalling £2.04m. This is expected to be a multi-year Programme with funding for future years to be confirmed in due course.

The PBIP is seen as the first step in creating coherent local strategies to guide investment priorities and to implement the ‘place principle’ which is a key component of the new Programme for Government.  

Central to this will be ensuring that investment decisions are shaped by the evidenced needs of local communities, regenerate and revitalise towns and villages, help tackle inequality and disadvantage and accelerate Scotland towards ‘net zero’ emissions targets. Another significant feature of the investment will be increased footfall within our town centres which will benefit local businesses.

The Aberdeenshire PBIP Panel looked for projects which can demonstrate local engagement and support, can realistically be delivered in a short timescale, are sustainable and help to transform their places.

The successful Aberdeenshire projects include the enhancement of several existing town centre initiatives as well as several new ones, including funding towards a new skate and wheeled sports park in Fraserburgh, bringing the Alford Valley Community Railway station building back into use and a priority transport scheme in Ellon.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: “Creating vibrant, successful, sustainable places is at the heart of our decision-making. This money will help a number of communities across Aberdeenshire to improve their places and will, in turn, support the longer-term economic recovery.”

“The fund was heavily over-subscribed and we needed to prioritise and take some difficult decisions.  All of the projects offer much in their own rights and as this is a multi-year programme, for those that were not successful this time round, they have the opportunity to respond to feedback and re-apply if appropriate.” 

Vice-chair Councillor John Cox added: “The Panel had to make decisions based on those projects that could realistically deliver this year.  It is very important that communities start to develop their plans now so that they are in a stronger position to take advantage of this funding in future years.

“By investing in our communities, we are helping to create more attractive, accessible and resilient places that are better placed to face the opportunities and challenges of the future.” 

Details of the 14 successful projects are as follows:

John Trail Hotel Project (North East Scotland Preservation Trust - £81,684) and Kirk Brae Public Realm Enhancement Project (Aberdeenshire Council - £145,000), Fraserburgh
These are existing priority projects within the Fraserburgh 2021 Conservation Area Regeneration scheme and are funded from several sources including the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.  This additional funding will enable the projects to complete.

Huntly Heart, Huntly
Deveron Projects - £44,067

This is an existing project supported by the Town Centre Fund to bring the Square Deal in Huntly Square back into use as a multi-purpose community hub. This additional funding will enable the project to complete.

Number 30, Huntly
Huntly & District Development Trust - £824,151

This is an existing project supported by the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Town Centre Funds.  It will redevelop a vacant former department store in the town centre to create a modern flexible enterprise, learning, leisure and community space. This additional funding will enable the project to complete.

Bridge Street Public Realm Improvement, Banff
Aberdeenshire Council - £105,155

This is an existing project supported by the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund to deliver a major environmental improvement scheme on this key gateway into Banff.  This additional funding will enable the project to complete.

Aboyne Town Centre Enhancement Project, Aboyne
Mid Deeside Community Trust - £15,000

This is an existing project supported by the Town Centre Fund.  It will deliver a significant series of improvements to Station Square including landscaping, seating and better provision for pedestrians. This additional funding will enable the project to complete.

Ballater Village Greens Enhancement Project, Ballater
Ballater (Royal Deeside) Ltd - £10,826

This is an existing project supported by the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund to create multiple improvements to the infrastructure and landscaping of the popular greens in Ballater, including improved ground surfaces, seating and the restoration of several key structures.  This additional funding will enable the project to complete.

Victoria Park Community Gardens, Peterhead
Peterhead Area Community Trust - £32,737

This is an existing project supported by the Town Centre Fund to develop a green space, community gardens, play and exercise areas in an unused site near Peterhead town centre.  This additional funding will enable the project to complete its current phase of improvements.

Broch Skate and Wheeled Sports Park, Fraserburgh
Broch Skate Club - £151,560

This is a new project to replace the old skate park in Fraserburgh with a modern, low-maintenance, competition standard facility.  The project has significant local support and will provide another boost to the Fraserburgh Sports Hub as well as helping to address several socio-economic factors in the town, including health inequalities, participation and anti-social behaviour.

Alford Valley Community Railway, Alford - £80,000
This is a new project – the first phase of a multi-phase plan – which will bring the redundant station building back into use as a low carbon community venue.   Future phases will see other elements of the old railway be bought back to life.  The project has strong local backing and features in the Marr Community Plan.

V&A Halls Transformational Enhancement Project, Ballater
Victoria & Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust - £40,000

This is a new phase of a multi-stage project which has previously received support from the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund.  It will carry out a series of improvements on the historic buildings to improve access, reduce energy consumption and consolidate the work done on creating a community and heritage hub. 

Ellon Integrated Travel Town, Ellon
Aberdeenshire Council - £210,000

This investment will see the delivery of one of the priority projects in the Ellon ITT Masterplan to enhance connectivity between the town centre and other parts of the town, and to encourage a modal shift to walking and cycling.

34 Broad Street, Fraserburgh
North East Scotland Preservation Trust - £150,500

The funding will support the next phase of the redevelopment of the former Clydesdale Bank building in the town centre into a hotel and restaurant, eventually connecting to the John Trail project outlined above. 

The Glasshouse at Square Deal, Huntly
Deveron Projects - £104,000

The project will involve the construction of a thermal glasshouse at the rear of the Square Deal building in the town centre.  The glasshouse will provide additional flexible space for year-round community use.