26 May 2022

£1.9 million of new investment to help improve places across Aberdeenshire announced

Nine local projects aimed at improving communities and places across Aberdeenshire are to share around £1.9 million in new funding to help improve local facilities and town centres and to support regeneration activity.

This funding is coming from the second-year allocation of the Scottish Government Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP) which is designed to support coherent investment decisions that respond to local community priorities for their places. The PBIP is expected to be a five-year Programme, lasting until 2025/26 with further injections of funding to be confirmed annually.

Central to the delivery of the Programme is ensuring that investment decisions are shaped by the evidenced needs of local communities, regenerate and revitalise towns and villages, help tackle inequality and disadvantage and accelerate Scotland towards ‘net zero’ emissions goals.  Projects are also expected to offer sustainable and impactful benefits to the places in which they are delivered.

The successful Aberdeenshire projects for 2022/23 include the rescue of the old Pavilion building at the Tarlair outdoor swimming complex in Macduff, new and improved visitor facilities in Alford’s Haughton Park, a new town centre community CCTV system in Huntly, the build of a new e-commerce app in Inverurie and a public realm scheme to lift the Clerkhill shopping area in Peterhead.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor John Crawley said: “Once again we are seeing a wide range of fascinating community projects being supported by the Place Based Investment Programme which will help create more inviting, accessible and resilient attractions across the region.

“From improvements to the wonderful Alford Valley Community Railway to the rejuvenation of the iconic art-deco lido pavilion at Tarlair, these funds will help community groups create vibrant, successful places for local residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

Vice-chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: “In addition to the community projects which are aimed at attracting tourists to the region, it’s heartening to see schemes being supported financially which will help boost our retail and commercial marketplace such as the improvements to Peterhead’s Clerkhill shopping precinct and the introduction of a localised E-commerce App in Inverurie which we hope to see rolled out across Aberdeenshire in the fullness of time.”

Details of the 9 successful projects are as follows:

Alford Valley Community Railway, Alford - £165,000
Phase 2 of a multi-phase programme to create a new visitor attraction and community resource by bringing parts of the old railway infrastructure back into practical use.  This project allows for the refurbishment of the Engine Shed and Turntable along with the implementation of a range of recommendations from Zero Waste Scotland to reduce the operational carbon impact of the facilities.

Clerkhill Public Realm scheme, Peterhead - Aberdeenshire Council - £234,000
Public realm scheme at Clerkhill retail area – the largest retail space in Peterhead outwith the town centre.  The retail area was developed in the 1970s and the public realm areas that serve the retail facilities are in poor condition and by modern standards inaccessible.  The project will upgrade 1,100m2 of public space including new surfaces, lighting, drainage and green areas. 

Ellon Wheel Park, Ellon - Ellon Wheel Park Group - £243,790
Community-driven project to build a new multi-sport, multi-ability wheeled sport facility at Gordon park in Ellon.  The area will be specifically designed for combined use for wheeled sports such as BMX cycling, mountain bike cycling, road bike cycling, in line skating, rollerblading, roller skating, skateboarding, and wheelchair sports and will be the first in Scotland to contain the combination of tracks and courses proposed.

Fraserburgh Hotel Project (34 Broad Street), Fraserburgh - North East Scotland Preservation Trust - £300,000
Latest phase of the conversion of the former Clydesdale Bank into an extension to the hotel building now completed in the neighbouring John Trail building.  This phase will consist of work to underpin the wall that will house the lift pit, construct a new courtyard restaurant and to strip out the ground and first floor.

Haughton Park Bike Pump Track & All Ability Trails, Alford - Friends of Haughton Park - £200,000
This community-led project would be based in a currently underused corner of the 40-acre site and will consist of two Pump Tracks and a 270m All-Ability Trail to help the community to engage in wheeled sports activity without having to travel to other areas. The facilities will also create new opportunities through active participation, coaching, instruction, and increased visitor numbers to Alford.

Haughton Country Park – Improving the Visitor Experience - Aberdeenshire Council - £203,000
This project is multi-faceted and includes the installation of all-inclusive, accessible and solar powered interactive play equipment; an outdoor gym and upgrade and electrification of the current off-grid park toilets.  In time, the ultimate goal is to achieve ‘Green Flag’ park status, which is a Europe-wide recognised designation, for Haughton Park.

Huntly Town Centre Community CCTV, Huntly - Huntly Community Council - £76,869Install a new community CCTV system in Huntly to support a safer town centre, which will present benefits to local businesses through additional footfall, the evening economy, and for social interactions. 

Localised E-commerce App, Inverurie - We Are Inverurie BID - £110,000 Project seeks to develop a new e-commerce marketplace platform, initially piloted in Inverurie but then potentially rolled out across Aberdeenshire. This would be designed to lock retail spend into Aberdeenshire and support smaller businesses to operate a digital presence effectively and competitively.  The key project aims are to promote an equitable marketplace, drive consumers to local products.

Tarlair Pavilion, Macduff - Friends of Tarlair - £367,209
Rescue, restore and renovate the A-listed Pavilion at the Tarlair Outdoor Pool Complex and to re-open as visitor and community resource as first stage in the ambition of bringing the whole site back into productive use.