Locals invited to launch of Fraserburgh 2021 regeneration project by Aberdeenshire Provost

Local people in Fraserburgh are encouraged to get involved in the launch of a project next week designed to revitalise the look of the town’s Conservation Area.

Fraserburgh 2021 will be formally launched by Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal in the town’s Dalrymple Hall on Saturday, March 11.

The event will include a guided tour of the Conservation Area by members of the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre and a talk by Chartered Architect and Heritage Consultant Andrew Wright.

Fraserburgh 2021 Project Manager, Ross McCleary, said the launch event has been designed specifically for local residents and encouraged them to come along.

“It’s extremely important that as many residents as possible attend the event to fully understand the opportunities the programme will create,” he said.  

“For those in the Conservation Area itself, there will be specialists on hand to answer questions and to provide information on grant funding for those who want to take advantage of the regeneration momentum.”

Fraserburgh 2021 is a £5.8million Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) which focuses on restoring and enhancing the town. 

The scheme includes a repair programme for priority buildings, a small grants scheme for property owners within the new conservation area, training and education opportunities in traditional skills and public realm improvements.

Work begins this spring to redevelop the Council Chambers in Saltoun Square and the adjoining former Police Scotland premises. 

“On completion, this will bring many more people to the town centre – both employees and visitors alike. It will breathe new life into Saltoun Square, something much needed by the local business-people,” said Project Manager, Christine Pert.

“While new jobs and greater visitation to the town centre are crucial, the investment in the unique built and cultural heritage is ‘absolutely vital’,” says Debbie Burroughs, Environmental Planning Team Leader at Aberdeenshire Council.

“We want the community to be proud of their town and for its historic buildings to become a magnet for new investment,” she said. “The town has a rich heritage and its historic buildings contribute greatly to its individuality.”

The Council’s Regeneration Manager, Christine Webster, added: “There is no silver bullet when it comes to meaningful regeneration – it takes time, a lot of effort, imaginative collaboration and investment over a sustained period to reap the rewards. But we’re now in the operational phase and it will soon become clear that things are happening.

“Regeneration and economic development go hand in hand. Like numerous coastal towns, Fraserburgh has weathered many economic storms over the years, but there are real opportunities to explore so it’s important we work with partners and specialists to capitalise on those opportunities.

“Regeneration is about people, it’s about improving skills to align with new types of employment; developing new ways of working and up-skilling, and, of course, carrying out refurbishment of properties – as is imminent at the Council Chambers in Saltoun Square – but addressing the built environment alone is only one part of the story.

“We all have a part to play. Community groups, charitable organisations, businesses, property owners and schools are all important in the delivery of regeneration projects.

“The world has evolved a great deal in terms of concepts and methodologies and it’s no longer viable for local authorities to deliver projects as a single entity – collaboration and team-work are the hallmarks of sustainable regeneration. 

“Bringing together different views, experiences and skills always delivers the very best results.”

Residents are encouraged to come along to the launch event, which starts at 9.30am on Saturday, March 11 in Dalrymple Hall.

There are two guided walks beginning at 11.30am and 11.45am. If you would like to take part please call 07825504733 or email: dawn.brodie@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
Please note spaces on the walks are limited to 12 each, so booking in advance is advisable.

“I would encourage everyone to try and go on the walk” said Debbie Burroughs. “It will certainly open eyes to the very strong built heritage which we have in Fraserburgh and this can be central to creating a new atmosphere of pride and positivity, which is so important to the regeneration effort as a whole.”