03 February 2021

New digital toolkit launched to help develop town centre projects across Aberdeenshire

An innovative new digital ‘toolkit’ has been launched highlighting the support available for the development of new town centre community projects across the North-east.

The Aberdeenshire Town Centre Toolkit has been developed by Aberdeenshire Council and its partners and also showcases successful case studies developed by members of the public, businesses, community councils, voluntary organisations and the public sector.

When external funding becomes available, it often comes with tight deadlines and it takes time to agree the vision, establish community support and to develop projects.

Audrey Michie, Strategic Town Centres Executive, explained: “While all projects are different, varying in their complexity and scale, what they all have in common is the requirement for resources, energy and commitment.

“Some of those projects featured in the toolkit have been successful with significant external finance while others have not required any funding at all. While some initiatives required volunteers, others employed or commissioned a project manager.

“All of the case studies are ambitious in their own right, helping our town centre communities to thrive, and they all have experiences to share, from small town centre schemes to new community buildings.”

The toolkit case studies look at the following key themes:

• Town centre vision
• Community events
• Business support
• Town centre initiatives
• Community development
• Awards

New supporting web pages have also been developed to include information on support available for town centres, town centre first principle and the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund to prepare communities for future funding opportunities.

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “This innovative approach will provide information, ideas and examples of how communities and organisations can collaborate to make our town centres vibrant, creative and accessible places. Staff have developed our web pages and created new content to provide easy-to-find information and the most up-to-date guidance as we look ahead to re-opening our town centres once restrictions allow.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “Since the pandemic began, our town centres and businesses have faced unprecedented challenges and the launch of this new toolkit forms a key part of the council’s support package within its town centre first principle.”

That support package will be complemented by a series of webinars in early March for the benefit of businesses and organisations which will focus on how best town centres can recover and move on from the impacts of the pandemic.

There will be a focus on sharing information as to how you can prepare for town centre funding and take inspiration from both the toolkit and exemplar projects on how to prepare and deliver a project.

You can access the Aberdeenshire Town Centre Toolkit online at: