Aberdeenshire Town Centres Phoenix Fund
The Aberdeenshire Town Centres Phoenix Fund is a one-off grant being made available to eligible town centres across Aberdeenshire to support the re-boot of our town centre economies following the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Aberdeenshire Council is inviting applications from any eligible town centre listed in the guidance document. If your town centre is not listed, then you can still register your interest and we will contact you if there are funds available to extend the scheme.
If you intend to submit an application to this fund, you must notify us of your intention by e-mail to email@example.com no later than 5pm on Friday 26th June 2020. You do not need to have worked up the details of your project by this date.
View Aberdeenshire town centres phoenix fund application form (pdf 163KB). Please note that Applications can be submitted by invitation at any time between 6th July and 30th September 2020.
Regeneration in Aberdeenshire
In Scotland, local authorities like Aberdeenshire Council have responsibility for Local Regeneration. The Scottish Government defines regeneration as “the holistic process of reversing the economic, physical and social decline of places where market forces alone won’t suffice.”
In March 2016, Aberdeenshire Council approved a new regeneration strategy:“From Strategy to Action: Developing Excellence in our North Coast Communities” which focuses on our four northern towns of Banff, Macduff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
One of our regeneration priorities across all four towns is to promote and attract new business and skilled professionals to support the local economy. To help achieve this aim we will be producing short films about each town. The first film produced covers the areas of Banff and Macduff. Watch the Banff and Macduff film.
Local partnerships have been established in each of the four towns consisting of local business and community representatives. This is to allow each partnership to set out the vision for regeneration within their own town. Each of the partnership have developed their own vision and action plan.
Banff vision statement
Banff is a connected, prosperous destination, where businesses are developed and its coastal location on the Moray Firth is maximised. Cultural and heritage assets are enriched, to create an attractive townscape and so people are inspired to become the best they can be.
The action themes are:
- Diverse economy
- Infrastructure and connectivity
- People and community
Macduff vision statement
With genuine maritime past, present and future, Macduff is a thriving town where hard work is rewarded by excellent social and community opportunities. Where there is strong civic pride in a distinctive townscape and an ethical society focused on benefitting all. Where the young are supported to make tomorrow's history and where life is evolving with new ideas and business openings.
The action themes are:
- Place development - destination Macduff
- Community well-being and quality of life
- Diverse and forward facing economy
Fraserburgh vision statement
Fraserburgh is vibrant and open for business, a town which looks outward whilst also caring for its community. Deserving of a reputation for excellence as one of the UK’s finest maritime towns, with a distinctive public realm of the highest quality, retaining a memory of place whilst creating new places to draw on the legacy of earlier generations. A town which places inclusion and enterprise at the heart of everything it does, developing an innovative and creative culture that empowers people.
The action themes are:
- The economy
- The environment
- People, communities, health and well-being
Peterhead vision statement
Peterhead is the vibrant economic heart for the Buchan communities and reaches out to the world through its maritime industry, enterprise, ambition, culture and its communities.
Peterhead’s town centre has been rediscovered with improved facilities including a diverse quality family friendly shopping/leisure experience and evening economy with interesting cultural events.
The distinct communities in Peterhead work together to celebrate differences with renewed civic confidence and pride of place. This is an independent, energised, committed and supportive community town.
The action themes are:
- Local economy - Peterhead open to the world
- Integrating the communities
- Connecting reinforcing and rediscovering Peterhead’s town centre
Property investment fund
The aim of the Property Investment Fund (PIF) is to bring prominent, redundant, town centre properties back into use through grant support. The property must have lain empty for at least six months at the date of application. Applications are open to individuals, community groups or businesses who own or wish to invest in property to bring new, sustainable uses to Banff, Macduff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead. Applications must be made and approved before work starts.
The structure of the fund is split into two phases:
Phase 1: Grants of up to £10,000 (or 50% of costs, whichever lesser) will be considered for feasibility studies, architectural drawings or quantity surveying work. Community organisations can apply for a grant covering 100% of these costs. If the total costs of the works identified at this stage outweigh the final value of development, or the return on investment is below a commercially acceptable value, a Phase 2 application will be considered.
Phase 2: Grants of up £100,000 will be considered for actual building and renovation work. It is not expected that the contribution from PIF will come to more than 25% of the building and renovation work.
For more information please view property investment fund (pdf 302KB).
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)
Aberdeenshire Council agreed to support the BIDs process at the Infrastructure Service committee on the 15th May 2014. The policy was renewed on the 12th March 2020. A BID involves businesses working together and investing collectively in local improvements in addition to those delivered by the council. A BID gives businesses a voice in the future direction and development of their own business environment and generates financial resources through a combination of additional levy, voluntary contributions and external funding. This financial resource allows additional projects and services to be determined through business consultation and allows them to be delivered through the private company of the BID by local business and partners. View the Aberdeenshire Policy on BIDs (pdf 159KB).
If you have a query regarding BIDs in Aberdeenshire or would like further information please contact the Strategic Town Centre Executive.
Town Centre First Principle
The council recognises that town centres have an important role to play in the sustainable development of local economies. The revitalisation through the Regeneration Strategy in the four northerly towns and continuation to support our vibrant towns throughout the rest of Aberdeenshire remains a priority. Town centres are a common denominator within delivery of our services and they are the heart of our communities, forming a key component of the intensity of civic pride. They can act as a hub for various activities, offering spaces to meet and interact, with access to a range of facilities and services. They are still very much a base for many small businesses and jobs and offer a variety of visitor attractions.
When invited to sign up to the Town Centre First Principle in 2015, following an invite from the Scottish Government and COSLA to all Local Authorities, third sector organisations and Community Planning Partners asking that an approach be adopted to allow all decisions that considers the vibrancy of town centres as a starting point, asking that the health of town centres features in the decision making processes. A decision was made for Aberdeenshire Council to lead the way, to take the principle above and beyond the Town Centre First Planning Policy allowing open and transparent decision making, taking into account the short, medium and longer term impacts our decisions can have on town centres and the communities they serve. The Town Centre First Principle was approved as a policy at the Infrastructure Services committee in December 2016. The policy has been rolled out through all decision making processes in all services at Aberdeenshire Council.
View the Town Centre First Principle Policy (pdf 49.9KB).
To find out more about about our Town Centre Policy please email TCFIA@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.
Banff and Macduff Town Centre Project Officer
Peterhead Town Centre Project Officer
Regeneration and Town Centres Manager
Strategic Regeneration Executive
Strategic Town Centres Executive