£1.9 million of new investment to help improve places across Aberdeenshire

Nine projects across Aberdeenshire are to share around £1.9 million in new funding to help improve local facilities and town centres and to support regeneration activity.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 6:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 6:35 am
The successful projects in Deeside include improved visitor facilities in Alford’s Haughton Park and new visitor attraction at Alford Valley Community Railway.
The successful projects in Deeside include improved visitor facilities in Alford’s Haughton Park and new visitor attraction at Alford Valley Community Railway.

This funding is coming from the second-year allocation of the Scottish Government Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP) which is designed to support coherent investment decisions that respond to local community priorities for their places.

The PBIP is expected to be a five-year Programme, lasting until 2025/26 with further injections of funding to be confirmed annually.

Central to the delivery of the Programme is ensuring that investment decisions are shaped by the evidenced needs of local communities, regenerate and revitalise towns and villages, help tackle inequality and disadvantage and accelerate Scotland towards ‘net zero’ emissions goals.

Projects are also expected to offer sustainable and impactful benefits to the places in which they are delivered.

The successful projects in Deeside for 2022/23 are as follows:

Alford Valley Community Railway, Alford - £165,000

Phase 2 of a multi-phase programme to create a new visitor attraction and community resource by bringing parts of the old railway infrastructure back into practical use. This project allows for the refurbishment of the Engine Shed and Turntable along with the implementation of a range of recommendations from Zero Waste Scotland to reduce the operational carbon impact of the facilities.

Haughton Park Bike Pump Track & All Ability Trails, Alford - Friends of Haughton Park - £200,000

This community-led project would be based in a currently underused corner of the 40-acre site and will consist of two Pump Tracks and a 270m All-Ability Trail to help the community to engage in wheeled sports activity without having to travel to other areas. The facilities will also create new opportunities through active participation, coaching, instruction, and increased visitor numbers to Alford.

Haughton Country Park – Improving the Visitor Experience - Aberdeenshire Council - £203,000

This project is multi-faceted and includes the installation of all-inclusive, accessible and solar powered interactive play equipment; an outdoor gym and upgrade and electrification of the current off-grid park toilets. In time, the ultimate goal is to achieve ‘Green Flag’ park status, which is a Europe-wide recognised designation, for Haughton Park.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor John Crawley said: “Once again we are seeing a wide range of fascinating community projects being supported by the Place Based Investment Programme which will help create more inviting, accessible and resilient attractions across the region.

“These funds will help community groups create vibrant, successful places for local residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

Vice-chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: “In addition to the community projects which are aimed at attracting tourists to the region, it’s heartening to see schemes being supported financially which will help boost our retail and commercial marketplace.”