ABERDEENSHIRE Council today announced plans to spend £400 million over the next four years in an ambitious programme of capital investment on key infrastructure improvements.
The spending plan includes the construction of new schools, state-of-the art leisure facilities and new care complexes.
A council spokeswoman claimed: “At a time of budget cuts and austerity measures, this is one of the most ambitious programmes of capital investment being delivered anywhere in Scotland.”
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.”
Stephen Archer, Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, said: “These are new assets which will benefit Aberdeenshire’s communities, and also provide a much-needed boost to the construction sector.
“The council continues to drive forward innovation and find new and better ways to deliver services and engage with local people, communities and businesses.”
The planned projects include a £6 million community sports complex at Hill of Banchory, which will incorporate a six-lane swimming pool, and the Inverurie Care Village, incorporating a 60-bed care home and eight associated bungalows,
Work is expected to begin this summer on the planned Ellon Academy Community Campus - a £40 million complex which will provide schooling for 1,200 pupils, a swimming pool, community areas and a new NHS facility. Plans are also under way for the construction of the £40 million Alford Community Campus to begin in 2014.
New primaries are also planned including Drumoak Primary School (£6.5m), a second Kintore Primary School (£10.5m), Uryside Primary School (£10m), Kinnellar Primary (£12m) and Markethill Primary (£11m).
More than £15 million is to be spent on the major refurbishment and extension to Kemnay Academy to ensure the school can cope with the projected increase in school rolls over the next five years.
A council spokeswoman explained: “Plans are also under way for a £27 million investment in the council’s depots, rationalising existing facilities and constructing new ones. The project will ensure the council’s depots are fit-for-purpose to support the delivery of frontline services including waste, housing, roads, fleet and landscaping.
“More than £10 million has been set aside to implement changes to the recycling and refuse collection arrangements.”