The first grants from a multimillion pound fund for town centre improvement projects in Aberdeenshire have been approved – Stonehaven’s bids were not successful, so must now wait in hope of a second round in June.
The Scottish Government announced a £50million Town Centre Fund in December to drive local economic activity and to stimulate and support economic improvements.
Aberdeenshire Council’s share is £3.28million, so there were hopes that Stonehaven could gain funding to improve the beachfront and install Changing Places Toilets.
A specially constituted panel considered projects from across the Shire and at its first meeting last week, granted funding to ten projects worth £2.7mllion, the majority worked up by groups independent of the council.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) was today given details of the successful funding bids. They include £478,000 for the transformation of Banchory Museum into a multi-purpose culture and visitor centre, £476,000 to turn a derelict Fraserburgh building into a hotel, and £145,000 to improve Drummers Corner in Peterhead.
Cash from the fund has to be legally committed by March 2020, so given the time constraint, consultation with councillors, business associations, community groups and services within Aberdeenshire Council identified several projects ready to be delivered.
The panel will meet to decide the second round of funding awards in June, and with the fund over-subscribed with eligible projects competition will be high.