A review of Aberdeenshire Council’s regeneration work in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff has revealed positive progress over the first half of the five-year Vision and Action Plans for the north coast towns.
A report to the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee indicated that the partnership approach to change was delivering what it set out to do.
Partners are engaging in a range of activities, from community groups delivering social change to businesses taking charge of their own destiny such as town centre improvement group Rediscover Peterhead.
Among the projects making a real impact in the towns are:
* Fraserburgh Enterprise Hub regeneration project which has been credited with supporting 15 businesses create 12 full-time jobs and 15 part-time jobs between January and November 2019
* Thirteen properties improved in Macduff as part of the Macduff Property Grant Scheme which has lifted the look of the waterfront and centre of the town
* 76 properties across the north area have been assisted and improved
* Robert Gordon University launches the LINA business networking and support programme in Aberdeenshire libraries which has a target of reaching out to businesses across the north coast and will provide co-working space in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff
* A statue of Lord Saltoun has been reinstated at Fraserburgh’s Faithlie Centre - the centrepiece of physical regeneration in Fraserburgh
* The once derelict Barclay Park Pavilion has been brought back to life through the efforts of Peterhead community group PACT for use by sports and community groups
* Peterhead’s former Gala Bingo hall will be refurbished into a state-of-the-art 5-screen cinema in 2020 creating a transformational development for Peterhead town centre
The plans and progress reports have been reviewed by Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Town Partnership, who said: “Scotland’s towns form a significant part of our past, present and future.
“Local people really care about their towns. The structured and imaginative approach undertaken by Aberdeenshire Council and their partners in helping to regenerate and revitalise their key towns is really encouraging and they are evidently turning things around for the better.”
Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: “Transformational change needs everyone’s involvement, it can’t just be provided by one body.
“We welcome our regional partners like Robert Gordon University who are doing a sterling job in our libraries with business support - as much as the Buchanhaven Boatshed or Fraserburgh Sea Cadets - to be progressive and confident about the opportunities that exist on the north coast.”
Vice-chair Councillor John Cox added: “In this second term of the five years, we are gearing up to a pipeline of projects that will really add to the transformational agenda including a town centre heritage bid to improve town centre properties in Peterhead, the development of the beach in Fraserburgh, Macduff Harbour improvements and the restoration and reuse of the Vinery in Banff in partnership with SAMH and the local community.”