12 January 2023

Aberdeenshire Council launches new funding round for coastal communities

Coastal communities in Aberdeenshire benefitted from more than £322,000 in funding during the last year. 

Aberdeenshire Council’s Coastal Communities Challenge Fund has awarded grants to 21 projects which deliver a range of benefits along the coastline.  

The council distributes revenues generated by Crown Estate Scotland, with applications being assessed and approved by NESFLAG – the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group - a cross-sector partnership comprising representatives from Aberdeenshire’s coastal and fishing sectors.

The 2022 grants were awarded to projects which included investments in sports facilities, community facility improvements, innovative environmental schemes and outdoor access projects. Grants were also awarded to small businesses for new retail and hospitality facilities.

Cllr John Crawley, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “Once again we have seen a wealth of exciting projects being supported to assist and develop our coastal communities through this funding programme. The sheer diversity of projects is also heartening and very clearly demonstrates the scope for both organisations and businesses to seek funding to progress their activities.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “These projects are delivering a range of positive social, environmental and economic outcomes and I would encourage more of our residents and groups to bid for this funding which will make such a dramatic improvement to their coastal communities.”

The supported projects were as follows:

Dekmar Ltd - Purchase of machinery to recycle used fishing nets £10,350

Invercairn Community Council - Bridge engineering design work to support cycle/footpath between Fraserburgh & Cairnbulg - £8,235

Aberdeen Foyer - Employment of a garden co-ordinator at The Vinery, Banff - £14,603

Fraserburgh South Links Sports Development Trust - Energy efficiency measures and a new roof at the South Links sports pavilion - £19,058

Coastal Path Access Improvements - Scottish Wildlife Trust - Repair and enhancement to steps on the coastal path at Longhaven Cliffs £25,000

Fraserburgh Cricket Club - Installation of an artificial surface to the wicket - £8,880

Sandhaven & Pitullie Harbour Trust - Installation of a new public toilet block at Sandhaven Harbour - £19,063

Portsoy 75 Club – Construction of a paved public garden and seating area around a CLAN Lighthouse Sculpture overlooking Portsoy Harbour - £25,000

Buchanhaven Harbour SCIO - Repairs to pier and slipway £19,017

East Grampian Coastal Partnership - Siting of 10 ‘self beach clean’ boxes in various locations along the coastline as part of Take 4 for the Shore - £4,502

Belhelvie Community Council - Installation of benches on North Beach Road and Eigie Road, Balmedie - £5,809

The Windsurf Club - Purchase of a trailer for storage/transportation of windsurfs - £9,720

The Windsurf Club - Training programme for volunteer watersports instructors - £5,094

Udny Arms Hotel - Construction of two retail ‘pods’ which will be available for rent to local businesses - £25,000

Murray McBay & Co - Enhancements to The Lobster Shop facilities within existing warehouse & retail space - £21,738

Stonehaven & District Angling Association - Removal of a disused weir on the River Cowie to aid migratory fish - £25,000

Aberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club - Installation of accessible toilet and shower in clubhouse - £13,691

North East Scotland Preservation Trust - Recruitment of a heritage consultant to identify first phase of works and apply for funding for Mill of Benholm renovation - £19,980

Stonehaven Sea Cadets - Purchase of a replacement RIB safety boat - £21,051

Stonehaven Sea Cadets - Purchase of 6 training dinghies - £15,667

Kincardineshire Development Partnership - Feasibility study into community transport options for coastal strip between Catterline and St Cyrus - £6,480

Meanwhile, a new application round of the Coastal Communities Challenge Fund programme has been launched this week.   

Grants are being targeted at community groups, third sector organisations and small businesses on Aberdeenshire’s coastline, and can fund a range of activities with positive economic, social or environmental impacts. 

This year’s grants will be targeted towards activities or infrastructure which meet the following priorities:

  • Supporting the development of active travel routes along, to and from the coastline
  • Developing the coastal economy and sustainable tourism
  • Creating or enhancing community, leisure and recreational facilities
  • Safeguarding, restoring or enhancing the coastal environment

Grants between £10,000 and £50,000 will be available, whilst applicants must make a minimum 10% match funding contribution to projects.  Small business applicants must contribute 50% match funding.  

Due to budget conditions, all projects must be completed within the 2023-24 financial year. 

The deadline for submission of applications is Monday, February 6, and potential applicants can access the application form and guidance by emailing or by visiting