05/16/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/16/2019 10:27
The first grants from a multimillion pound fund for town centre improvement projects in Aberdeenshire have been approved.
The Scottish Government announced a £50million Town Centre Fund in December to drive local economic activity and to stimulate and support economic improvements.
Aberdeenshire Council's share is £3.28million and its Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) was given details of successful funding bids to date at a meeting today. (Thurs, May 16)
Cash from the fund has to be legally committed by March 2020, so given the time constraint, consultation with councillors, business associations, community groups and services within Aberdeenshire Council identified several projects ready to be delivered.
The criteria set for the fund included the deliverability of the project, sustainability and transformation to the key town centres of Aberdeenshire.
A specially constituted panel considered projects which would stimulate and support a wide range of investments, encouraging town centres to diversify and flourish.
At its first meeting last week, the panel granted funding to ten projects worth £2.7mllion, the majority worked up by groups independent of the council.
The panel will meet to decide the second round of funding awards in June, and with the fund over-subscribed with eligible projects competition will be high.
ISC Chair, Peter Argyle, said: 'This money is intended to drive local economic activity, to bring transformational change for towns and their surrounding communities by creating growth which supports them to become more vibrant, creative, enterprising and accessible places.
'The first round of applications has seen funding granted to a diverse range of projects that will bring transformational change to our key town centres throughout Aberdeenshire.'
Committee vice chair, John Cox, said: 'The principle aim of this fund is to create footfall through local improvements and partnerships which encourage town centres to become more vibrant, creative, enterprising and accessible places for their communities.
'The council's regeneration work in the four northern towns has identified projects to generate significant change and this new fund will allow some of those projects to be delivered faster, leveraging in even greater funding. The fund has also been able to support other key towns within Aberdeenshire.'
* Please see the following for each project approved, a brief description, the delivery body and the amount of funding which has been approved.
Banchory Museum, Banchory
Transformation and re-design of existing library and museum building to a multi-purpose cultural and visitor centre
Aberdeenshire Council (Live life Aberdeenshire) £478,000
Bridge Street, Banff
Public Realm Improvement Scheme linking up strategic regeneration projects and key areas of the town.
Aberdeenshire Council (Delivery Team) £709,030
The Hive, The Square, Huntly
Huntly and District Development Trust have purchased the former RBS building in Huntly square and are looking to redevelop it into a co-working shared space. The Hive will provide high quality, affordable, environmentally sound and attractive workspace which can be rented on a flexible basis. It will also offer meeting space with technology for conference meetings and workshops and will include support services aimed at Business Development, growth and networking.
Huntly and District Development Trust £117,263
John Trail Hotel Project, Fraserburgh
The proposed project will see the derlecit building at 3-13 Mid Street, Fraserburgh fully restored and brought back into productive use as a small hotel.
30, The Square, Huntly
Huntly and District Development Trust has plans to purchase and re-develop this substantial prominent three-storey town centre building into a mixed use space. On completion, Number 30 will house retail and test trading spaces of varying flexible sizes, a Huntly Heritage Centre, café, visitor information centre, exhibition space, a cinema/lecture theatre, community events space and some office accommodation.
Huntly and District Development Trust with partners £225,000
CCTV, circulated throughout the defined BID area of Peterhead town centre, linking to the police station.
Rediscover Peterhead £79,000
Huntly Heart, Huntly
Deveron Projects intend to purchase the former Square Deal in Huntly Square (application pending approval from the Scottish Land Fund). The upstairs will be converted into accommodation and artists residence and the ground floors will become the 'living room of the town', incorporating various projects and events including the town is the garden project and a proposed heritage bakery project, creating a welcoming space for visitors and residents alike.
Deveron Projects £227,992
Drummers Corner, Peterhead
This Public Realm enhancement project aims to install a replacement performance drum and an upgrade to seating and lighting adding new artwork to the area to improve aesthetics.
Aberdeenshire Council £145,000
Car Parking contactless infrastructure
To upgrade all town centre carparking infrastructure to a contactless system. Reduced parking costs for medium length stays along with the contactless payments will make payments easier and quicker, making parking more accesible and increasing town centre dwell times.
Aberdeenshire Council £66,660
Grow Banff @ the Vinery, Banff
The application to the SG TC Fund is for the first phase of the Grow Banff @ The Vinery project to re-develop the Vinery site into a flagship site within Banff for community-led regeneration which will improve health and wellbeing, increase skills, provide new opportunities for enterprise and encourage tourism.
Aberdeenshire Council £242,832