08 July 2024

Host of projects benefit from Aberdeenshire Council Coastal Communities Challenge funding

A scheme to reintroduce the popular land train to Stonehaven is just one of 15 projects to receive grants from Aberdeenshire Council’s Coastal Communities Challenge Fund.

Around £332,000 is being invested in a wide range of initiatives and activities which will deliver a range of benefits along the region’s 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.

This year’s grants were awarded to projects which included investments in sports and business facilities, improvements to community halls and car-parks, energy efficiency schemes and recreational area enhancements.

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I am delighted to see more exciting projects along our coastline receiving Coastal Communities funding including the return of the much-loved wee train to Stonehaven after an absence of some years. Our communities are realising just how valuable this particular source of funding can be to them and I would again encourage any organisations looking to secure grants to find out more on our website and to discuss their plans with our Economic Development service.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “It’s tremendous that we have this fund to support projects along the coast which is always under pressure from tourism and other recreational activities. We really are now seeing the benefit of having the Coastal Communities Fund to support a growing number of projects and I look forward to seeing the outcome in the future.”

The supported projects in this latest round of funding were as follows:

Stonehaven Town Partnership - Bringing the Wee Train Home to Stonehaven CCCF award: £ £10,372
Re-introduction of the 'land train' tourist attraction to Stonehaven as a means of transporting visitors around the town. The costs relate to start-up recommissioning costs including mechanical works, transport, driver training and equipment.

Stonehaven Recreation Grounds - Stonehaven Fireboules petanque
CCCF award: £ £10,498
The project is to create a pétanque facility at Stonehaven recreation grounds for use by members, the local community and visitors.

Stonehaven Recreation Grounds - multi-use games area
CCCF award: £ £28,698
Contouring and introduction of planted spaces at the putting green, installation of a multi-use games area and provision of a boules pitch which can also be used for other activities.

St Cyrus Church of Scotland - community/visitors car park
CCCF award: £ £50,000
The application is to create a landscaped car park in the centre of St Cyrus village within a small field owned by the local parish church. The new car park will serve the church as well as the primary school, the community and visitors to St Cyrus nature reserve and beach.

Banff Castle Community Association - external fabric repairs
CCCF award: £ £50,000
Repair works to the exterior of Banff Castle, a community facility and arts venue in the town centre of Banff.

Stonehaven Tolbooth Association – paving of Tolbooth inner courtyard
CCCF award: £ £28,128
Improvements to the inner courtyard at the Tollbooth Museum in Stonehaven. Work includes clearing vegetation, new paving, pointing of boundary walls, wheelchair ramp and outdoor
water and electrical supplies.

Portsoy District Community Association – Portsoy Sports Centre ‘Going
CCCF award: £ £11,817
Installation of solar panels and a battery storage unit at Portsoy Sports Centre.

Rosehearty Community Boat Club - RCBC - 'Topper' Sail Training Project
CCCF award: £ £11,208
Purchase of two ‘topper’ sailing dinghies and associated equipment to be used for sailing courses for young people.

Mill of Benholm Enterprise - Mill of Benholm car park 
CCCF award: £ £14,038
Improvements to the car park area at Mill of Benholm. This application focuses on active
travel including a bike shed, e-bikes for hire and interpretation/signage.

Banff, Macduff & District Men's Shed - Men's Shed Energy Saving CCCF award: £ £14,853
Energy efficiency measures at the Men’s Shed community facility in Macduff involving installation of insulation and led light fittings.

Inverallochy Golf Club - solar PV system
CCCF award: £ £15,000
Installation of a solar PV and battery system to reduce energy costs andprovide a small income to support the club's activities.

Pennan Hall Committee – hall improvement project CCCF award: £ £12,466
Improvements to Pennan Village Hall including upgrades to the heating system, installation of AV equipment, blinds for windows and seating covers.

Summerhouse Drinks Ltd - fruit juicing and packaging machinery
CCCF award: £ £35,000
Purchasing of second-hand equipment to add value and efficiency to a small business
fruit drinks production line which will allow full production of the product to be undertaken on site near Fraserburgh.

Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium – ‘Better Learning for a Brighter Future’ CCCF award: £ £24,500
To equip and enhance the learning room with specific instruments to enrich the learning experiences offered to visitors to the aquarium.

Port Erroll Harbour Cruden Bay Trust Ltd - enhancing the leisure and recreational area
CCCF award: £ £15,305
Enhancements to the public space around Port Erroll Harbour including re-grading the grass area, installation of picnic tables and benches, erection of new signage and interpretation lecterns, and the installation of a webcam.

Grants from the Coastal Communities Challenge Fund programme are targeted at community groups, third sector organisations and small businesses along Aberdeenshire’s coastline, and can fund a range of activities with positive economic, social or environmental impacts.  
This year’s grants were 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

You can find out more by visiting