New Coast Aberdeenshire Project launched thanks to Scottish Crown Estate Marine funding

Aberdeenshire Council has committed £25,000 from its Coastal Communities Fund allocation towards establishing a new Coast Aberdeenshire Project.

The local authority has been awarded £770,923 from the Scottish Crown Estate (Marine) Coastal Communities Fund, to be spent on coastal community initiatives by March 31, 2021. 

A key aim of the Coast Aberdeenshire Project will be to promote and enhance awareness, wider use, and better integration of the North-east’s coastal path, including the resources and local organisations within the coastal corridor. Linkage with regional long-distance routes will also be evaluated.

The project will consider targeted local initiatives to improve some existing sections of the coastal path, while exploring sustainable strategies for its ongoing promotion, development and management.

Initially the project will focus on the northern coastal path corridor from Peterhead to the boundary with Moray. It is anticipated that funding applications resulting from this initial phase will support an ongoing work programme covering other sections of the path in subsequent project phases.

Officers are seeking notes of interest from potential project leads by the deadline of 5pm on Sunday, August 30 via the Public Contracts Scotland website at www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=AUG393102

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “I am delighted to see the Coast Aberdeenshire Project commencing and I am confident it will help promote our paths network and generate increased user uptake in the fullness of time.

“Through this project we will be able to spotlight our rich and diverse culture and heritage within the path corridor to a wider audience which will be of great benefit to our communities and businesses.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “This is an innovative project which will see the creation of an exciting programme of events of cultural, natural and heritage interest to stimulate activity in the coastal corridor. Identifying gaps such as linking Moray Way through the rest of Banffshire Coast to Buchan would open up huge opportunities not only in economic terms such as tourism, but adding to this area already described as one of the best coastlines in the country.

“In addition to these activities which will support and improve both the local and visitor experience in relation to cultural, natural and built heritage interest, the project will also present opportunities for our coastal businesses to be showcased to a wider audience.”

Environment Planner Katherine Low explained: “Community engagement on our coastal paths network will help us prioritise the aims and outcomes of the Coast Aberdeenshire Project and the creation of  a community forum will act as the focal point for connection both during and after the project.

“Our ambition is that post completion, sustained progress will continue to be pursued and supported by the forum and those with interests in the coastal path corridor.”

Meanwhile, further information and guidance on how to apply for monies through the Coastal Communities Fund 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

The Aberdeenshire coastline is around 91 miles in length, extending from St Cyrus in the south to Logie Head near Cullen. The route already features a coastal path which comprises Core Paths, cliff-top paths, extensive beach sections and some minor roads and tracks. The full Aberdeenshire route links approximately 30 settlements

The path is not continuous, having some relatively short breaks. For the sections managed by Aberdeenshire Council, coordination and maintenance is undertaken through existing access agreements or informal arrangements.

Some short sections exposed to the forces of coastal erosion and recent severe weather events have proved difficult to maintain in a stable condition, resulting in section closures.