Community groups on Deeside are among those in Aberdeenshire to share in funding of more than £44,000 to help them prepare for winter storms.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is providing awards of up to £20,000 from its resilient communities fund for projects that will protect those most vulnerable, enhance community facilities or improve communication during an emergency weather event.
Towns and villages in Aberdeenshire were some of the worst areas affected by Storm Frank last winter.
In Ballater, the River Dee burst its banks, flooding the village and affecting hundreds of homes and businesses.
The village’s Victoria and Albert Halls, designated as an emergency rest centre by Aberdeenshire Council, is receiving £20,000 to install a backup generator.
Ballater and Cathie Community Resilience Group is to get £2,602 to provide a Private Mobile Radio (PMR) system to significantly improve the communication approach for the area, building on recommended methods of communication preferred by Police Scotland.
Gordon Riddler, trustee at Victoria and Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust, said: “The Ballater Community Resilience Plan drawn up by the community in response to recent severe flooding events, in consultation with the emergency services, lists onsite power back-up as one of the pre-requisites to overcome local power outage which has been a major issue.
“The grant towards the provision of local power back up has been crucial to ensure that telecommunications and service workstations are available to emergency services and local authorities and other vital support required for those using the Halls as a coordination point.
“It has also ensured that the kitchens can be used to maximum effect, as well as the provision of heating, lighting and drying, all of which will help enormously towards community resilience and care and comfort of the vulnerable in time of emergency.”