A north-east councillor who accused the local authority of prioritising cruise ship tourism over maintaining historic harbours has welcomed fresh investment.
Earlier this week, Troup councillor, Hamish Partridge, who represents Macduff and Rosehearty, condemned Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to pour funding into the multimillion-pound development of Nigg harbour.
He suggested the move was at the expense of fishing communities along the Banffshire and Buchan coasts.
Yesterday, local councillors met in Banff to consider a new programme of maintenance works and unanimously agreed to spend £130,000 in the region.
Following the meeting, Mr Partridge said: “I certainly welcome the agreed programme of works for our harbours given the budget restraints we currently have in the council.
“It is a little disappointing that projects outwith our authority get huge investment and support, yet the level of investment our own ports get is nowhere near enough.
“However, officers can only work with what the council agreed and, in this case, some of the required improvements will be delivered.”
Investment in the harbour infrastructure in Macduff, Rosehearty, Banff and Portsoy has been cut by more than £20,000 since last year.
It comes as Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City councils are committing around £11million towards the £375million expansion project at Nigg Bay.
The development is part of the wider City Region Deal and backers have argued it will boost the whole north-east economy.
In his report to the Banff and Buchan area committee which met yesterday, the authority’s infrastructure chief, Stephen Archer, said: “Aberdeenshire Council is responsible for seven harbours which are maintained from the council’s revenue budget.
“Four of these harbours – Banff Marina, Macduff, Portsoy and Rosehearty – are within the Banff and Buchan area.”
Mr Archer added that the work, as in previous years, will be “flexible” and will be reassessed in case of emergency work such as storm damage.