Funding boost for Donside facilities

A Donside community hall has been boosted by the news that projects across Aberdeenshire are to receive over £500,000 in European funding.

Nine projects have been awarded grants by the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER Programme, which is financed by the European Commission and Scottish Government.

Grants worth a combined £518,000 will be used to support projects across the area, including the upgrading of toilet facilities at Milne Hall in Kirkton of Skene.

The Loons ‘n’ Quines Loos Project will remove the existing toilets in the Milne Hall and install new toilets in a new layout which will free up existing space within the hall to be used for hosting other user groups and activities.

These improvements will then enable concurrent use of the hall by more than one user group and provide better value to local people who regularly use the hall for a wide range of activities.

Philip Caballero, who has played a key role in securing new facilities for the hall, said: “It means that we can provide fit for purpose toilets and realise a new space in our village hall and without the LEADER grant it would have been very difficult for our to raise the kind of capital required as it has taken us 10 years to raise our own share of the capital for the project.”

Funds have also been allocated to Aberdeenshire Council to test Whitespace technology in the area, which could in time improve broadband delivery in rural Aberdeenshire.

The money will be administered by the Rural Aberdeenshire Local Action Group (LAG).

Aberdeenshire LAG chairperson Belinda Miller said: “I am delighted that Aberdeenshire LEADER is supporting a wide range of rural community projects across the area.

“Some of the projects are also being supported by Aberdeenshire Council, but this funding is the catalyst that will enable these capital projects to proceed at an early opportunity.

“These successful applications will help to revitalise communities and stand in line with Aberdeenshire’s Community Planning priorities.”

Details of all approved LEADER projects are available at: www.aberdeenshireleader.org