PETERHEAD Open for business!

Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes visits Peterhead with Councillors Alan Gardiner, Norman Smith and Tom Malone.
Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes visits Peterhead with Councillors Alan Gardiner, Norman Smith and Tom Malone.

The Deputy Leader of Aberdeenshire Council made a visit to Peterhead recently as part of a major push to drive regeration efforts in the town.

During the visit, Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes was joined by Councillors Alan Gardiner, Tom Malone and Norman Smith.

Council Leader Jim Gifford and Councillor Kitts-Hayes visited Fraserburgh earlier in the week.

As part of the visit to Peterhead, the councillors were hoping to establish areas for improvement in the town. Following a significant Council underspend, members of the Aberdeenshire Alliance hope to focus resources of around £13m on six key development areas. These include: investing in towns and villages to create better places to live and work; providing assistance to small and medium sized businesses; boosting the tourism and hospitality industries; increasing pre-school and nursery provision; increasing care at home services for older people; and accelerating plans to improve roads, provide affordable housing and replace schools and care homes.

Commenting during the visit, Deputy Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Martin Kitts-Hayes said: “We decided to come and have a look to see for ourselves the condition of the town centre.

“Clearly, the number of empty shops is a major cause for concern. We want to find ways to draw more visitors and shoppers to Peterhead.

“We identified savings and identified money that was available. That is why we now have an extra £3m that will now be spent re-invigorating our towns and villages.

“We are really pleased to be able to invest in the area and to say to people that the Council cares about the future of Peterhead.

“We are open for business and open to talk,” he added.

Central Buchan Councillor Norman Smith added: “We are in a listening Alliance. It has been good to have Council Leader Jim Gifford in the area to see what needs to be done.”

Councillor Alan Gardiner commented: “It is really positive that we have Martin Kitts-Hayes here to champion the cause of regenerating Peterhead. Peterhead has been neglected for too long but Martin is standing with us to make improvements.”

Councillor Tom Malone said: “Members of the Alliance are wholly committed to the regeneration of Peterhead and taking on the challenge of making much-needed changes.”

Members of the Alliance hope to put forward more detailed plans of regeneration options for Peterhead in the coming weeks.