Councillors welcome fresh round of grant funding for Aberdeenshire coastal communities

Aberdeenshire Council has been awarded more than £442,000 from the Scottish Crown Estate to be spent on coastal community initiatives by March 31 2021. 

This funding is drawn from revenue generated by the Scottish Crown Estate’s inshore waters and is intended to support and develop coastal communities.
 
The council’s Infrastructure Services Committee today (Thurs, Aug 20, 2020) agreed to use the funding to provide grants to support coastal communities and businesses. 

Approximately £288,000 of funding will be available via a new Challenge Fund and an existing business grants programme to support projects which would take place within one mile of the Aberdeenshire coast and can demonstrate a link to the coast and/or sea.

Communities and businesses are invited to apply for funding through the following routes:

The North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG)
This can provide grants of between £10k and £50k for projects which support business diversification and innovation in key economic sectors; add value and promote innovation in the seafood supply chain; create jobs and facilitate lifelong learning and training; promote social wellbeing, cultural heritage and community development; and enhance environmental assets in coastal areas.

The Business Resilience And Sustainability Scheme (BRASS)
This can provide grants to businesses up to £10k to invest in diversification proposals for new products and markets; respond to climate change and net zero; build digital resilience; secure accreditations; and conduct digital and net zero audits.

A further £100,000 has been split equally between the Banff & Buchan, Buchan, Formartine and Kincardine & Mearns Area Committees.

Councillors from each area will have discretion to decide the priorities for the funding and determine how it is allocated. The remaining funds have been allocated to support town centre projects through the Phoenix Fund initiative.

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle said: “This additional funding provides a great opportunity to support and develop Aberdeenshire’s coastal communities and businesses who are facing challenging circumstances. I would encourage any groups or businesses wishing to bid for funding to contact council officers as soon as possible as we have limited time to spend this money.”

Vice-chair Councillor John Cox added: “Investing in our coastal towns and key sectors such as seafood - especially adding value to our seafood right here in the North East - will help lay the foundations for a robust economic recovery. Coastal Communities Funding is a welcome addition to enhance and complement existing business support and town centre regeneration initiatives.”

Further information and guidance on how to apply for funding and the criteria of each programme can be obtained by visiting the BRASS or NESFLAG websites at
https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/business/business-covid-19/business-resilience-and-sustainability-scheme/   
www.nesflag.org
or by contacting coastalcommunities@aberdeenshire.gov.uk