Fraserburgh and district councillor Ian Tait has this week revealed to the Herald his aspirations for his constituency following the allocation of more than £800,000 to the area.
Councillor Tait, a member of the Aberdeenshire Alliance group, told the Herald that he wants to see this money spent on projects that could have a lasting benefit to the town and area.
He stated: “My message is that Fraserburgh is open for business. I am saying to developers: come and see us and we will help you to start up your business here.
“The council does not control the business rates, but, wherever the council can help, we will,” said Councillor Tait.
In total, six projects that were tabled by the Alliance group for Fraserburgh were approved.
Some £500,000 has been allocated to improve the town centre, which will include the drawing up of designs to regenerate and improve the town centre which will, in turn, make it easier for new outlets to start up.
“Regenerating the town centre will make it more attractive to shoppers from outside the town and to shopkeepers looking to open a shop,” Cllr Tait told us.
A further £25,000 has been set aside to improve the town’s historic buildings, aiming to make the town a more attractive option for tourists and visitors.
“This will review our historic buildings in and around the town centre, and will draw in more money to carry out more improvements to our historic buildings as has already been successfully done in Banff and Portsoy.
“Huge sums of money have been drawn done in these towns through improvements to their historic buildings and we can do the same here.
“Visitors who like to come and see historic buildings and our heritage will be drawn in and will spend cash here,” Councillor Tait commented.
“£50,000 will be allocated to do a comprehensive portfolio of all the assets and resources in the town and how they can be developed,” he added.
“This will show what is available and what we can do to work with potential developers to bring inward investment into the town. We have the money now, and so we must not sit back and wait for business to come to us. We have to get out there and sell Fraserburgh to the developers.
“For too long we have not had the money to do this, but now, through the Alliance, we have the money.”
Councillor Tait also revealed that this money would be used to a ‘big sell’ to potential developers through the United Kingdom: “We have to show potential developers that Fraserburgh is open for business and is serious in trying to help in every way.
“This portfolio will be the basis of a plan that can be added to and be used to plan the development of our local economy and community by encouraging private, public and community agencies working together to create jobs and to develop good things for the town and area in the way of job creation and development of tourism, leisure facilities and cultural resources.
“It will become an on-going basis for a Community Action Plan for Fraserburgh and district.
“My message to developers all over the UK is that Fraserburgh is open for business. Come and see us and we will help you start up your business here. We will do everything we can to help you,” the councillor stated.
A further £120,000 will be used to acquire the remaining sites along Denmark Street that will complete the development of that part of the town.
“I would like to see housing or commercial development here,” said Councillor Tait, adding that new housing would reduce the waiting lists.
“We can use this money to make the sites available so that more houses and commercial enterprises can be built on those sites. This will mean that the whole area along Denmark Street will be developed right up to the Alexandra Hotel site, which already has a planning permission for two shops,” he said.
Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioners will also receive a £100,000 contribution towards a power cable that will provide Fraserburgh’s harbour the means to develop and attract vessels to its facilities, while the Cairnbulg Harbour Trust will receive £27,500 to increase the depth of the Cairnbulg harbour to provide more berths.
Speaking on the money being invested in Fraserburgh and district, Councillor Tait said that he wanted to use the windfall money to “get things done that will have a lasting benefit and help build our local economy and create jobs through economic development and tourism.”
“This is only year one of this new council, and I will work as a member of the Alliance group to get more benefits for Fraserburgh through the next five years.
“I have already had serious discussions with senior officers in the Economic Development and Estates departments of the Council and these departments have given me an assurance that Fraserburgh will now receive their intense attention. My message to everyone is that Fraserburgh is open for business. I am saying to developers: come and see us and we will help you start up your business here. We will do everything in our power to help you.”