29 January 2024

Aberdeenshire Council confirms new 2-year partnership with North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group

Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to participate in the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) for a further two years.

The partnership was established by the council and comprises representatives of stakeholder organisations from the private, community and public sectors.

Meeting on Thursday, January 25, the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee was advised that under its partnership working policy, a partnership assessment and a risk assessment must be undertaken every two years for every non-statutory partnership of which the local authority is a member.

A key role of NESFLAG is the delivery of the Aberdeenshire Coastal Communities Challenge Fund through the processing and evaluating of grant applications before making recommendations to the council on project approvals.

The fund itself is supported through Crown Estate Scotland income generated from marine assets including aquaculture, offshore renewables, moorings and other coastal income.

The council receives a proportion of this income annually to be used for coastal benefit such as support for local projects or initiatives.

It has enabled crucial funding to be awarded to a wide and diverse range of projects across Aberdeenshire’s coastal communities including new sailing club equipment, picnic benches and landscaping improvements at country parks, harbour improvements and a host of heritage initiatives.

Councillors were advised that the 2023/24 allocation amounted to £755,232 and that the council had exercised an option to defer the allocation for spend in 2024/25 in order to maximise the time for delivery and ensure best value in the use of the funds.

The committee will be appointing a councillor representative on the group in due course, and councillors also agreed to delegate powers for the Head of Planning and Economy in order to manage potential underspends which may require prompt decisions to meet the funder’s spending deadlines.

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I very much welcome Aberdeenshire Council’s continued partnership with North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group and congratulate its work in supporting our innovative funding programme which has been a real success story over the past couple of years.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “Projects being supported by our Coastal Communities Challenge Fund continue to deliver a range of positive social, environmental and economic outcomes. Since the Coastal Communities funding became available it’s made a significant improvement within our coastal towns and villages and continues to support a wealth of activities for all ages.”