Aden Country Park is set to benefit from a £149,500 grant that will be put towards the ongoing £1.4 million redevelopment project at the attraction.
Aberdeenshire Council has received the money form the Heritage Lottery Fund to go towards the restoration of the park in Mintlaw.
The regeneration project aims to enhance and conserve the attraction’s rich cultural, architectural, archaeological and natural heritage, while restoring it as a prime visitor destination in rural Aberdeenshire.
The development funding of £149,500 has been awarded from the first round HLF Parks for People funding programme and will help the council progress plans to apply for a second round, full grant of £1,399,500, at a later date.
Stuart Pratt, Chair of the Buchan Area Committee, said: "
“We’re delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support.
“Aden Country Park is an important resource for both the local community and visitors to the area, and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving the park for future generations to enjoy.”
Lenny Pirie, Councillor for Central Buchan, said: "
“Public parks such as Aden have immense value and benefits to people of all ages.
“Aside from the economic value and the positive impact on physical and mental health, there are also social, biodiversity and nature benefits that will be enhanced through the Heritage Lottery funding support.”
The redevelopment project aims to improve the visitor experience, expand and increase opportunities for learning and biodiversity, while protecting and recording unexplored aspects of the park – including a Bronze Age settlement and stone circle.
Plans will also be developed to upgrade the existing children’s play area, create a new interpretation centre and outdoor learning classrooms, and examine how significant buildings at risk of dilapidation will be restored to create new enterprises which will help sustain the park in to the future.
Gillian Martin, Aberdeenshire East MSP, said: "Our public spaces are vitally important to our communities. It is fantastic news that Aden Country Park will use this funding to improve what is already a jewel in area.
“When the bold plans for Aden Country Park are realised it will be an even greater tourist attraction, and provide a fantastic leisure space that can be enjoyed by local people of all ages for generations.”