Aberdeenshire towns among 200 receiving financial support from Covid 19 Recovery Fund

Eight Aberdeenshire towns have been awarded more than £60,000 to help communities recover from the consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

The money has come from The Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund, financed by the Scottish Government and administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

Nearly 200 towns across Scotland have benefited from £1 million of grants including Aboyne, Ballater, Banchory, Ellon, Huntly, Mintlaw, Stonehaven and Turriff.

The fund has supported a raft of schemes to help town centres in their fightback from the Covid-19 pandemic, including helping pay for PPE supplies as well as funding local marketing campaigns urging people to support businesses in their community, highlighting that they are open for business.

In total, the fund has supported 73 projects – 24 in full and 49 in part – covering 188 individual towns. Money has been granted to organisations including local authorities and community business groups.

Aberdeenshire organisations which received a grant including Huntly and Stonehaven business associations which received support for an Our Community Hub App and Shop Local campaigns. Other towns will be using the money to introduce marketing campaigns, events and loyalty card schemes.

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “Businesses in our town centres are showing remarkable resilience and innovation in how they are responding to the consequences of Covid-19 to best serve their customers and communities.

“From rapidly accelerating their online offerings to moving quickly to ensure that safeguards are in place to ensure that staff can work safely and customers shop responsibly, their work is playing an important part in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. The impact they are having should not be underestimated.

"We are delighted to have been able to support the projects we have and pleased that the work will touch on so many towns as we encourage everyone to think local first - and safety first - to support the businesses and the people behind them who really are at the heart of the areas in which they live.”

Audrey Michie, Strategic Town Centre Executive at Aberdeenshire Council, commented: “It’s great to see our local business groups and community organisations developing schemes to protect people as they return to our retail and hospitality sectors.

“Thanks to their efforts, our local town centres are safe and will get the much-needed boost they deserve after months of financial uncertainty. By supporting local shops, cafes, restaurants and other services within your own community, you are directly supporting local jobs which has never been so important.”

The Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund totals £2 million. While half of this has been used towards the current wave of grants, £700,000 will provide support to business improvement districts when current BIDs Resilience funding expires. The remainder of the money includes support for the Scotland Loves Local campaign, a major multimedia promotion championing the message for shoppers to think local first.

The Aberdeenshire projects supported area:

Banchory Business Association Marketing campaign and PPE supplies - £10,000
Stonehaven Business Association
Our Community Hub App and shop local campaign - £12,000
Ellon Traders Association
PPE supplies, signage and training - £12,000
Huntly Business Association 
Our Community Hub App and shop local campaign - £10,000
Albert Memorial Hall Ballater Trust
Marketing and events for local businesses - £2,500
Turriff Business Association
Marketing campaign, PPE and loyalty card scheme - £10,000
Mintlaw & District Community Council
Match-fund support for local business PPE provision / PPE top-up - £2,500
Mid Deeside Community Council, Aboyne
Extend shop fronts and outdoor seating, village maps and business signage - £3,000