Council announces £400 million spend

Aberdeenshire Council has announced it plans to spend approximatley £400 million over the next four years.

In stark contrast to many other authorities, the ruling Aberdeenshire Alliance will be embarking on a huge project of capital expenditure which will see the building of schools, leisure facilities and spending on housing and social work developments.

Included within the figure are the planned £6 million community sports complex at Hill of Banchory - which will incorporate a six-lane swimming pool and extended dry facilities - a £6.5 million replacement for Drumoak Primary School and plans are also under way for the construction of the £40 million Alford Community Campus to begin in 2014.

The site will contain both a 640-pupil academy and 355-pupil primary school, a four-lane swimming pool, community library and external sports facilities.

Other expenditure includes £5 million for new council offices in Peterhead and more than £10 million to implement changes to the recycling and refuse collection arrangements.

Council leader, Councillor Jim Gifford, said: “From multimillion pound new-build complexes to minor upgrade works, these projects are part of our long-term asset management plan to ensure we provide top-quality facilities to the residents of Aberdeenshire.

“Over the next few years, Aberdeenshire Council will deliver a series of important projects which will benefit the local economy and play an important role in our communities for decades to come.”

The council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Stephen Archer, added: “These are new assets which will benefit Aberdeenshire’s communities, and also provide a much-needed boost to the construction sector.”

Opposition councillor Geva Blackett said: “The SNP welcomes all capital expenditure which will improve the lives of the people of Aberdeenshire however given that this Administration has had historical problems spending the budget, the challenge will be to ensure they deliver on their promises.”