Cash for community groups

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BUCHAN community groups have received a welcome cash boost as part of an Aberdeenshire Council funding scheme.

Administered by Buchan Development Partnership, the area initiatives fund recognises projects working to improve community facilities across the Buchan area.

A total of £30,000 was made available to benefit community projects including Light up Peterhead, Hatton Public Hall, Strichen Gala Committee, Buchan IT and E-Learning Service (BITES) and Cruden Bay Harbour Management Committee.

Maud-based computer training centre BITES received £3,000 which will be used to set up a beginners programme.

Manager Denise Belshaw said that the award had been much needed as Scottish government funding for computer learning courses has recently been cut.

She said: “The money will be put towards facilitating a beginners class for people who have never used a computer before.

“The group, comprising mostly older people, will be shown how to use the internet to meet their social, commercial and banking needs. With the help of this grant we should be able to offer customers this £70 course for only £20.”

A further £3,000 was awarded to Cruden Bay Harbour Management Committee to assist with repairs to the harbour wall.

Committee chariman Hugh McIntyre said that extreme weather conditions had caused “significant deterioration” to the harbour entrance including several cracks in surrounding walls.

He said: “It has now reached an urgent stage and the committee require to attract some significant funding to allow the repairs to be progressed quickly and therefore allow further development of the facilities to enhance the value of this key village asset.

The area initiative funding will allow the committee to further progress the development of these applications and provide seed funding to access other funding to meet this significant challenge.”

Other groups benefiting from funding included Boddam and District and St Fergus community associations and Hatton, Longside and Maud Public Halls.