Coastal Communities Fund supports Buchan projects

The local Coastal Communities Fund has already provided financial support for a number of projects.The local Coastal Communities Fund has already provided financial support for a number of projects.
The local Coastal Communities Fund has already provided financial support for a number of projects.
Organisations in Buchan are being encouraged to submit applications to the local Coastal Communities Fund for financial support for their projects.

A wide range of initiatives and activities within the Buchan area have already benefitted from grants since the fund was created in 2021 – from new coastal paths to play equipment, amenity enhancements to repairs and improvements.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Coastal Communities Challenge Fund awards grants to projects which will deliver a range of benefits along the coastline.

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It’s funded through Crown Estate Scotland which generates income from a range of marine assets including aquaculture, offshore renewables, moorings, and other coastal income.

The council’s four area committees which feature a coastline are allocated funding to support projects which either help the development of active travel routes along the coastline, develop the coastal economy and sustainable tourism, create or enhance community, leisure, and recreational facilities or safeguard, restore or enhance the coastal environment.

To-date the Buchan Area Committee’s allocation has been nearly £304,000 in Crown Estate funding to support coastal projects – with councillors recently hearing that £76,000 remains available for communities within the current financial year.

For more details and to register an interest visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/

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The Buchan Area Committee has allocated £18,000 to six priority commissions in the coming year including:

• A survey and scoping exercise to investigate the condition and options for the Reform Tower in Peterhead

• Installation and improvement of interpretation at Scotstown Beach and Rattray Head• £5,000 to the Area Manager to support events in coastal communities

Buchan Area Committee chair Cllr Dianne Beagrie said: “It’s tremendous to see such a wide and varied range of projects having been supported by this fund to-date, but I would really encourage organisations to start applying for financial support to further enhance their communities. Our officers provide very helpful advice and guidance throughout the process and with their continuing support I very much look forward to seeing new projects coming before us in the future.”

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Vice-chair Cllr Matthew James added: “It’s really encouraging to see there are so many community-led projects being supported by this important funding from Cruden Bay all the way up to St Combs. This continued investment in our coastal facilities is vitally important and this fund has enabled communities to be part of the process, to take their projects forward and provide opportunities for everyone to be involved.”

Some highlights from 2023 include:

Seasonal Access Countryside Ranger – Buchan CoastDuring the 2023 season the Seasonal Access Countryside Rangers undertook patrols in key Buchan locations including Cruden Bay and Scotstown Beach which resulted in positive feedback from landowners and including harbour trustees

Longhaven and St Combs playparks - equipment replacementCommunity facilities have been improved through the purchase of new play equipment

Cruden Bay former Congregational Church Building – transfer of ownershipThis grant-based commission was led by Cruden Bay Community Association and will see the transfer of the former Church into the ownership and management of the association

St Fergus Community Pitch – drainage and fencing worksLed by the St Fergus Community Pitch Group, this grant saw drainage works completed and fencing installed to improve the amenity of this important community facility

Seafest – event equipment hireLed by SURF this grant secured equipment to support the participation of community groups at the first SeaFest event held in Peterhead in September 2023 which saw more than 9,000 people attend

Scotstown Beach - amenity improvementsLed by the Outdoor Access & Countryside Team at Aberdeenshire Council, this project is the first phase of a refurbishment of the car-park of this much-loved attraction