Scottish Government announces fresh funding for Aberdeenshire town centres

The Scottish Government has announced a £30 million Town Centre Fund to support Economic Recovery (Fri, Sept 11). 

A Regeneration Capital Grant Fund will provide £12 million in support for projects, while £18 million will be injected into the Town Centre Fund (TCF) for investment in 2020-21. Aberdeenshire Council’s share is £1.17 million and will be used to drive local economic activity.

The council is currently consulting with elected members, business associations, community groups and various services within the local authority to identify projects which fit the fund criteria and tight timescales.

It is working to identify any projects which have a feasibility study complete or a robust business plan in place, which have carried out public consultation and which will stimulate and support a wide range of investments which encourage town centres to diversify and flourish.

Projects must have a transformational impact to one of the North-east’s key town centres and be deliverable within the 2020/21 financial year.

This fund is an addition to the £50 million Town Centre Fund announced in 2019, of which Aberdeenshire Council was allocated £3.26 million. Fourteen projects were successful awarded funding are all underway and on track. 

The 2019/20 funding is enabling the redevelopment of two vacant derelict listed properties in Fraserburgh into a 11-bedroom hotel.

Three properties all for community use were funded in Huntly, while Peterhead and Turriff were granted monies to install CCTV and Stonehaven will see a replacement to the boardwalk with seating areas to connect the harbour to the town centre.

Contractors have also been procured to redevelop the museum and library building in Banchory. 

More than £2 million has been leveraged in addition to the monies awarded and all projects have used local suppliers and contractors where appropriate.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “This money is intended to drive local economic activity and bring transformational change for towns and their surrounding communities by creating growth which supports them to become more vibrant, creative, enterprising and accessible places.

“With monies having to be spent in this financial year we are looking for projects that have been developed, have detailed plans and costings and which are ready to be executed.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “We welcome community groups to come forward with any plans to use this investment to help our town centres to remain vibrant environments for living, working and leisure.”