The second round of funding from a multimillion-pound fund for town centre improvement projects in Aberdeenshire has been approved.
The Scottish Government announced a £50million Town Centre Fund in December to drive local economic activity and to stimulate and support economic improvements.
Aberdeenshire Council’s share is £3.28million and the first round of successful funding bids was announced last month, worth a total of £2.7million.
Cash from the fund has to be legally committed by March 2020, so given the time constraint, consultation with councillors, business associations, community groups and services within Aberdeenshire Council identified several projects ready to be delivered.
The criteria set for the fund included the deliverability of the project, sustainability and transformation to the key town centres of Aberdeenshire.
A specially constituted panel considered projects which would stimulate and support a wide range of investments, encouraging town centres to diversify and flourish.
The panel recently granted awards to four projects worth £471,600 in the second round of funding, including the purchase of an empty property in Fraserburgh to bring it back into use.
The other projects relate to Turriff and Stonehaven town centre improvements, including the installation of CCTV in the former and a replacement beach boardwalk for the latter.
In Turriff, Turriff Business Assocciation were given funding of £40,000 for CCTV and a Town Centre Canopy.
ISC Chair, Peter Argyle, said
The projects funded will positively impact town centres across Aberdeenshire. The fund was oversubscribed, with many projects deserving of support, making it a difficult and challenging process.
Funds have been awarded based upon impact, sustainability and deliverability within the short timescales.
Committee vice chair, John Cox, said
This money is intended to drive local economic activity, to bring positive impact to our town centres and their surrounding communities, supporting them to
become more vibrant, creative, enterprising and accessible places.
Money has been awarded to bring properties back into use, to connect and increase the footfall within town centres and to encourage further investment.
Portlethen will also benefit from improvements to the business area of The Green – consisting of new signage, a notice board, new lighting, landscaping of the area, new benches and an upgrade to the parking markings and disabled bays.