Key areas funding

Investment of more than £13 million for a range of schemes across Aberdeenshire has been agreed by councillors.

The projects form part of six key areas for development identified by the Aberdeenshire Alliance in early June this year, funded by savings generated during 2011/12.

The proposals focus on six key areas of investing in towns and villages; providing assistance to small businesses; boosting tourism and hospitality industries; increasing pre-school and nursery provision; increasing care at home services for older people; and accelerating plans to improve roads, provide affordable housing and replacing schools and care homes.

The proposals were confirmed at a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Policy and Resources Committee at Woodhill House, last week.

As part of the focus on investing in towns and villages, the committee discussed a range of projects identified in each of Aberdeenshire’s six divisional areas.

Local area committees had worked alongside communities and partners to prepare a list of almost 70 projects for investing in towns and villages.

These were assessed in terms of priority, with the outcome being that 49 of the projects will now be developed at a total cost of £3,165,322. A future allocation of £1,935,000 for a number of key projects was also approved.

Schemes have also been put forward to support the tourism and hospitality industry including a tourism campaign for Aberdeenshire and the creation of a place brand for Aberdeenshire.

The other key priority areas of increasing pre-school and nursery provision, increasing care at home services for older people and accelerating plans to improve roads, provide affordable housing and replace schools and care homes have all been progressed, following reports to the policy committees.

In Kincardine and Mearns, £174,000 has been earmarked for the restoration of the Stonehaven Clock Tower and £131,000 for improvements to the Inverbervie beach area and recycling point.

The sum of £55,000 has been allocated to the Gourdon Place Making Project, which includes signage and street furniture and £40,000 to Laurencekirk’s Infrastructre for Employment, which will bring forward a site for accomodation for employment, with part of the current Mearns Academy site being considered.

The clock tower is a Category B listed building in council ownership. It is the focal point for the Fireballs Ceremony and houses an important barometer and town clock.

A robust and easily maintained surface will be introduced at the Inverbervie beach car park and recycling area.

Two other major local projects have been identified, community facilities at Hillside at a cost of £300,000 and an all-weather pitch for Stonehaven at £320,000 but these are further down the line in terms of delivery.