Buchan councillors have backed plans for a bid to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund with a view to developing Aden Country Park near Mintlaw.
Members of the Buchan area committee approved the proposal at their meeting in Peterhead on Tuesday, August 26.
Councillors agreed to submit the bid for the ‘substantial funding’ necessary to restore features within the park and to develop its potential in line with the overall vision of the council.
In a report to members, director of communities service, Ritchie Johnston, said the number of visitors to Aden Country Park had incrased considerably due to the increase in marketing and prmotion and the increased number of events being held in the park.
“Some of the most popular have been Wild About Aden and Adeneen, which attracted thousands of visitors and verious heritage and vintage vehicle events have also attracted large number of visitors,” he said. “The green space within the park has always been very well maintained and recently received the Green Flag award for the four consecutive year.”
Mr Johnston said to take matters forward, it is proposed to make the bid for the substantialfunding.
“Such a bid requires aconsiderable amount of work in advance of the second roundapplication, delivery phase, being submitted. It is proposed to make abid for the first round development phase application,” he said.
“This will allow for the appointment of a project co-ordinator andprofessional support to develop the second round application.
“The delivery phase would include carrying out the required consultationand enlisting the support of the local community and a wide range ofstatutory and non- statutory bodies and agencies, as well as identifying and completing applications for match funding. It is anticipated thatthis stage will take approximately one year to complete with the secondstage application being submitted around February 2016.”
Councillors heard that the funding application will include restoration and alteration of historic buildings, including the museum renovation and relocation of cafe facilities and the renovation of Forester’s Cottage to bring it back into use.
The children’s play area and the uniformed groups’ campsite would also be restored, while the restoration and interpretation of historic features such as the Victorian arboretum, ha-ha wall, Coach House and Bronze Age site would also be worked on.
The parklands would also be improved through work on the existing driveway, introduction of a pedestrian path along the main driveway which will be linked to the farming heritage trail. There will also be investigation of a biomass heating system.
Mr Johnston said considerable work had been done in developing the first round application and it was anticipated that it would be submitted by the end of the month. He added that the overall project cost to delivery phase was in the region of £2.4 million, with the proposed percentage split requiring the council to raise around £740,000.