Local communities are being asked for their views on how Aberdeenshire could be improved with access to a new source of European funding.
European Union money will be available from 2014-20 to support Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) Programmes.
Funds are to be managed by partnerships known as Local Action Groups, similar topresent LEADER and Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund programmes.
Aberdeenshire Council is working with community, private and public sector partners to prepare Local Development Strategies which will form the basis of an application to the Scottish Government to secure funding for the north east.
Two Local Development Strategies are being prepared – one each for north and south Aberdeenshire.
They will be based on the views of communities, other stakeholders and the existingdevelopment strategies for the region.
Thoughts on which activities should be prioritised for funding over the next seven years are being sought as part of the process.
As a first step, open public events will be held where people can provide ideas and views on what should be included and find out about the new programmes.
Chairman of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), Peter Argyle, said: “Aberdeenshire has benefited extensively from European funded programmes, with the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER and Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund having supported more than 150 projects to date.
“Our communities have the opportunity now to build upon this success by shaping new programmes for Aberdeenshire for the next seven years and I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the events.”
Vice chair Alan S. Buchan said: “It’s impressive to see how well communties have come together to make successful applications to previous European funding streams, helping to create greater sustainability in our area’s economy.
“This is an opportunity to say how European funding should be used to enablecommunities to plan for the future and create an even more vibrant place in which to live and work.”
The public events are being arranged by Aberdeenshire’s Rural Partnerships - the Buchan event is being held at Mintlaw’s new MACBI Community Hub onTuesday, March 4 from 6.30pm-9.30pm.
For more information on the meeting you can contact Buchan Development Partnership on (01771) 613584 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Those unable to attend but interested in finding out more about the funding programmes should see the Aberdeenshire Council website at: http://bit.ly/1mr4rl9