LEADER funding boost for Buchan communities

SIX exciting new projects have been awarded funding in Round 12 of the Aberdeenshire LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) programme at its meeting in June.

The combined award to the six projects was £266,012, taking the total commitment of the programme to almost £3.9milion since it began in 2008.

Round 12 projects include a children’s play area in Mintlaw.

The Fairweather Community Leisure Area was awarded £23,814 from the latest round of funding.

The Trustees of Mintlaw Playing Field have brought forward the project which will install a number of different pieces of play equipment on a disused concrete tennis court in the village.

Mintlaw currently has a very low provision of children’s play areas and the Trustees have worked with the local parents to raise funding. The project will provide recreational facilities for the expanding community and also visitors to the area.

The playing fields lie on the northern entrance to the village and were donated by a local farmer named Mr Fairweather in the late 19th century. There is currently a football field and associated changing rooms which will be complemented by the new play area.

Sir Albert McQuarrie, vice-convener of the Trustees, said: “The Trustees of the Fairweather Play Area in the Mintlaw Public Park are delighted to have been granted £23,814 by the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER Programme towards their project of providing an up-to-date Play Area with extensive equipment for the children of Mintlaw.

“The LEADER funding was vital in reaching the sum required to complete the funding for the project. As vice-convenor of the Trustees handling the application I offer my sincere thanks to the staff of LEADER who have been most helpful at all times. The LEADER logo will be proudly exhibited in all our publicity material.”

Money has also been secured for the renovation of the Hay Memorial Hall, a Victorian Hall in Cornhill and a feasibility study which will identify actions to revitalise the Sandhaven and Pitullie Community Hall on the Banff & Buchan coast. Belinda Miller, Rural Aberdeenshire LAG Chairperson, said: “The latest LEADER applications demonstrate a diverse range of projects and good geographic coverage across Aberdeenshire.

“While all projects relate to LEADER’s overarching theme of Revitalising Communities, the economic aspects are also important. The LEADER programme has been very successful in supporting projects to date. In this context, it is evident the balance of funds available to new projects is reducing and it is anticipated there will be strong competition for the remaining funds.”

Vicky Thomson, LEADER co-ordinator, added: “Once again the LAG has supported a variety of great projects that will really make a difference in communities across Aberdeenshire. It is particularly encouraging to see the professional approach made by applicants in bringing forward and delivering quality projects for the benefit of local communities. ”

Applications for Round 13 of LEADER are being accepted until Tuesday, August 2, and will be assessed by the Local Action Group at a meeting on Monday, September 12. Details of all approved projects to date and information on the application process are available on the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER website:

www.aberdeenshireleader.org