Provost Hamish Vernal has explained details of the £5.8 million Fraserburgh 2021 regeneration scheme, at a meeting at the Dalrymple Hall.
He spoke on Saturday about how Fraserburgh 2021 focuses on restoring and enhancing the magnificent built heritage of Fraserburgh’s town centre conservation area, and forms a key part of the wider social and economic regeneration work in the town over the next four years.
The £5.8 million will be invested in Fraserburgh over the lifetime of the CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) project. This funding is a result of successful grant applications to the Heritage Lottery, Historic Environment Scotland, and the Scottish Government along with funding from Aberdeenshire Council.
Those attending were further enlightened by a presentation from Andrew Wright, Chartered Architect and Heritage Consultant who gave an insight in to the value of Conservation Areas in regeneration.
This was followed by a presentation from Fraserburgh 2021’s Project Co-ordinator Ross McCleary, who outlined the different aspects of the project.
Of particular interest was the repair programme for priority buildings - including the restoration of Saltoun Chambers and the former Police Station in the heart of the town, creating a multi-use public building with room for meetings and events and an enterprise hub alongside a council service point. For public realm improvements around Saltoun Chambers there were draft plans and samples of materials on display for people to comment on.
The project also includes funding for training and education opportunities - in traditional skills and for community engagement.
The project is not just about preserving historic buildings but about restoring them and breathing new life into them, engaging local people in their local heritage and using the built heritage of Fraserburgh to effect a positive change for the future of Fraserburgh.
Work should be started by early summer – from May onwards.
There is a small grants scheme to help property owners within the conservation area carry out repairs to their historic buildings. Application forms and information were available for people to take away, and staff were on hand to answer any queries people had about the grant scheme.
After the presentations - and despite the showers - a number of people went on a walk of the Conservation Area, led by two volunteers from the local Heritage Centre. They brought the buildings to life with stories of the people who had lived and worked in them.