Sea Bothy Trips to Sea and Yacht Club Win Fund Awards

By bellmannews / December 6, 2020
Dolphins in sea with Dunnottar Castle behind

DINING with dolphins could be part of a new visitor attraction for Stonehaven as the Seafood Bothy makes a successful funding bid for an on-board eating and wildlife experience.

And Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club can look forward to engine upgrades to their essential safety boats.

Ten projects have benefitted from Aberdeenshire Council’s 2020-21 Coastal Communities Challenge Fund (CCCF) programme.   The grants, worth a total of more than £194,000, were awarded to organisations across Aberdeenshire by the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG).  

CCCF distributes the revenues generated by Crown Estate Scotland, and applications were assessed and approved by NESFLAG, a cross-sector partnership comprised of representatives from Aberdeenshire’s coastal and fishing sectors. The application round was highly competitive, and the successful projects were selected for their positive economic, social or environmental impact on coastal communities. 

On-board dining

The Seafood Bothy, who received an award of £43,500, is a small business offering locally caught and prepared takeaway seafood meals, and has established itself in Stonehaven Harbour over the past two years. The owners now plan to expand the business by purchasing a classic boat which will be converted to offer trips from Stonehaven Harbour and include an on-board dining experience as well as seafood preparation demonstrations, fishing history, and wildlife spotting.

Maria Lewis, Owner, Seafood Bothy said: “Having successfully been awarded a previous grant to help me set up Seafood Bothy at Stonehaven, I was open to another adventure.

”My ‘Seafood Bothy on the Sea’ project will bring a unique wildlife trip and seafood dining experience to Stonehaven. I can’t thank NESFLAG enough for awarding me this grant to achieve this next project. I could not do it financially without this help.  I am thankful NESFLAG believe in me enough to carry out this venture which will bring more tourism and locals to the town, plus allows me to employ more staff.”

Safety boat upgrades

And, receiving £10,640 is our community sailing club which operates most of the year from Stonehaven. The project involves necessary upgrades to the club’s RIB safety boats by the purchase of new outboard motors, ensuring that sailing activities can continue in the long term.

Ditta Neumann, Commodore, Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club said: “In these challenging times for clubs, this grant is especially welcome. 

”The new engines will assure the current standard of safety provision for our sailors at Stonehaven for the next decade and facilitate expansion of our existing training and coaching programmes.”   

Other Projects approved include:

  • New value-adding fish processing equipment for Sutherlands of Portsoy
  • Purchase of new boats for children’s sailing lessons in Peterhead
  • New displays and interpretation at Macduff Aquarium
  • Outdoor equipment, signage and access improvements in Collieston
  • An upgrade of the café and restaurant at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh
  • Establishment of a monthly producers’ market in Peterhead town centre
  • New access ladders at Portsoy Harbour and design work on access towers for Macduff Harbour’s slipway 
  • An innovative boat attachment which will collect seabed waste and debris at Fraserburgh Harbour

Further distribution of Crown Estate Scotland revenues in Aberdeenshire has been made in 2020 through the Council’s Business Resilience and Sustainability Scheme (BRASS), the Council’s COVID-19 response Phoenix Fund, and small grants through the four coastal Area Committees. 

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “These are all deserving projects and will have a very positive impact within the north-east. Funding such as this has provided a very welcome opportunity to support and develop Aberdeenshire’s coastal communities and businesses which continue to face challenging circumstances.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “I am hugely-impressed by the diversity of the projects which have received funding – from fish processing to tourism. Given the considerable competition for funding, I would again encourage all community projects and businesses which have not been successful in this round of funding to continue developing your ideas as when grants like this do become available they often come with very tight timescales.”

Jamie Wilkinson, NESFLAG Co-ordinator, said: “NESFLAG was delighted to approve funding for these applications in the new Coastal Communities Challenge Fund in Aberdeenshire. There was a huge amount of interest in the programme and it was subsequently a very competitive application process.

“The successful projects demonstrate the fantastic range of community groups, businesses and tourism attractions along our coastline, and I expect the grants to have a really positive impact.”   

Further details about NESFLAG can be found at