project seeks community views on town centres

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Ideas and aspirations for the future of four of Aberdeenshire’s historic towns will be sought from communities themselves as part of a new regeneration initiative.

Aberdeenshire Council wants to award a contract to a firm which can capture the imagination and gain the involvement of communities in the north of the area.

Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff will be the focus of efforts to refresh, regenerate and improve their town centres.

Potential strategic improvements and schemes of a structural, business or social nature will be identified, relating to the relative function of each town centre.

The council wants in-depth reports to be compiled for each town individually, taking into account historic buildings, built and natural heritage as well as other regeneration issues of a physical, social or economic nature.

The successful bidder or bidders will be expected to facilitate a Town Summit or meeting which presents key findings and options, allows views to be expressed but seeks constructive, achievable actions that can be taken forward.

Infrastructure services committee vice-chair, Alan S. Buchan, said: “We are making a serious commitment towards understanding the potential of our towns and the summits will be a great opportunity to bring together professional expertise and local stakeholder knowledge to help shape the future of the towns. With the radical shift in retail and service sector economics in the last five years, we have to re-think the structure, performance and function of these town centres in preparation for the next 20 years.”

The successful bidder will be expected to gather robust information from the towns sufficient to form a representative view.