20 May 2022

Fraserburgh 2021 Conservation Area Regeneration project a finalist in coveted national awards scheme

The Fraserburgh 2021 Conservation Area Regeneration project has been announced as a finalist in a coveted national awards scheme.

Led by Aberdeenshire Council’s Planning and Economy Service, it features in the best project category in this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence.

It comes just a few months after the Fraserburgh regeneration programme was hailed the ‘Most Improved Place in Scotland’ in the 2021 SURF Awards.

Created with the aim of transforming the image and quality of the commercial core of Fraserburgh by investing in the unique built and cultural heritage, the project began in 2015 and will be complete in July 2022.

It has utilised the qualities of Fraserburgh's built and cultural heritage to help improve the economic success and vibrancy of the Broch’s town centre by creating buildings, spaces and places which capitalise on civic pride, local identity, local connection and a sense of place.

The townscape heritage scheme has targeted numerous derelict/and or vacant properties in the Fraserburgh Conservation Area bringing them back into active use, including shopfront improvements, reinstatement of original architectural detail, public realm and an extensive training and engagement programme.

Boosting enterprise in the town centre was one of our core aims and following the complete
refurbishment of the Faithlie Centre this now houses an Enterprise Hub, a space were entrepreneurs and start-ups can access office space and advice.

Since its inception the Hub has attracted around 235 users including pre-starts and existing businesses and 61 new full time and part time businesses have started in a range sector including retail, service, professional, trades, crafts/artisan makers, hospitality, and tourism.

The shopfront improvement scheme offered new and existing businesses grants to undertake
shopfront improvements to better promote their business, encourage others to improve their
frontages and ultimately improve the street scape of the town centre.

The scheme has seen properties benefiting from a variety of repair, restoration, complete shopfront replacement and the installation of individually designed and hand painted signage.

The John Trail Project taken forward by the North-East Scotland Preservation Trust has seen comprehensive works to repair and renovate existing derelict buildings to create a bespoke 11-bedroom boutique hotel. Although not part of the Fraserburgh 2021 project, this resulted in the adjacent former Clydesdale Building also being purchased by NESPT to expand the scale of the hotel offering.

Commenting on the shortlisting, Paul Macari, Head of Planning and Economy at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This regeneration project has been a shining example of multi-agency partnership working and has been delivered by us with major funding from Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and the Scottish Town Centre Fund.

“It clearly demonstrates how our Planning Service can facilitate and lead multiple agencies with the same core aim - the regeneration of place. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the project – including the project board comprising officers, local councillors and community groups – and hope all the hard work and determination pays off at the awards later this year.”