Regeneration on the agenda as MSP tours local towns

Stewart Stevenson at the Home Bakery with Hamish McLeay, Denise Sivewright and Jack McGregor
Stewart Stevenson at the Home Bakery with Hamish McLeay, Denise Sivewright and Jack McGregor

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson spent time visiting a range of businesses and projects in Banff and Macduff recently.

His tour came as part of the Scotland’s Towns Partnership scheme which supports the Scottish Government's ongoing commitment to secure a positive future for towns such as Banff, Macduff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

The visits, facilitated by Aberdeenshire Council’s Economic Development team, included local businesses which had recently invested in upgrades, as well as businesses and projects supported by regeneration funding and helping take forward the Scottish Government’s vision for town centre improvements.

Among those businesses and projects visited by Mr Stevenson were the Knowes Hotel in Macduff run by local couple Wayne and Linda who briefed the MSP about their work as a new business which is independently run and which they have recently extensively refurbished and extended.

Deveron District Age Concern, which was awarded a grant from the Macduff Property Grant Scheme for exterior renovation work to their premises was also visited. The group provides support and help to the local community by providing a wide range of initial senior citizen information and support services.

Mr Stevenson also took in Macduff Harbour which was awarded funding from the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund and Aberdeenshire Council for a new ice machine.

The Home Bakery Macduff also featured on his trip having received support from Macduff Small Grant Scheme and which is due to open in the coming months.

Commenting after his visit, Stewart Stevenson MSP said: “This was a very useful and informative visit and I’m grateful to the businesses and projects involved for hosting it and to the council for arranging it.

“There was a good mix of commercial enterprises, charities and social enterprises stepping up with assistance to rebuild living breathing town centres which are attracting a new generation of visitors.

“The Scottish Government’s ‘town centre first’ principle is a key tool in helping local enterprises in our towns, backed by the local regeneration partnerships in Banff and Macduff and external funders such as the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

“It was also good to meet businesses which had decided to invest in the area, giving a real boost to the local economy and I was delighted to see and hear how well they are doing.

“All in all, whilst town centres across the UK are facing challenges as a result of changing shopping habits, it was good to see just how many new ventures have established themselves in Banff and Macduff, all of which are helping to regenerate our towns, providing employment and bolster the local economy.”