Broch conservation plans go on show

Fraserburgh's town centre.
Fraserburgh's town centre.

An emerging proposal for a conservation area in Fraserburgh’s town centre was on show at Super Saturday last weekend.

A study of Fraserburgh’s historic buildings had been undertaken over the last year, highlighting the potential for conservation status and the potential for funding opportunities.

Alan Marshall, a conservation architect leading the study for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Fraserburgh has a unique history and the importance of its buildings and history in a national context has been hidden.

“The late 16th century Fraser’s Broch is the earliest of Scotland’s planned towns and has a unique layout.

“The development of the harbour and related industries has given Fraserburgh a robust, working heritage and a legacy of many fine buildings.

“The historic core of the town deserves a level of protection, enhancement and promotion that a Conservation Area brings”.

Proposals for a new conservation area are at an early stage and locals were invited to view the proposals and comment on the plans.

The proposals are being progressed hand in hand with applications for funding for the town from Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery fund, which could provide funding for regeneration of properties, grants to owners for repair works to historic buildings, business enhancement and training opportunities.

The project forms part of the overall regeneration drive in Fraserburgh which is being supported by Aberdeenshire Council’s Regeneration Strategy.

Chairman of the council’s infrastructure services committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, commented: “The council’s Regeneration Strategy currently focusses on Fraserburgh, as the area of greatest need, and this is an interesting proposal emerging from the work done by officers in the town so far.

“There seem to be lots of things happening around the town to help improve the area and its prospects, but public involvement is crucial and I hope people will take the chance to get involved in some of the work helping to shape the town for the future.”

Chairman of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, John Cox, added: “Fraserburgh was and remains a historic town of importance to the rest of the country, but like many other coastal towns around Scotland it is in need of a lift.

“Formal recognition of the town centre’s heritage would help preserve the value of what is there and hopefully bring a sense of pride in those who work and live locally.”