Ambitious plans for the future of Fraserburgh have been welcomed by locals – despite being slated by councillors earlier this week.
A consortium of architects was commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council to look at ways of improving the Broch’s town centre and make it more attractive to visitors and new businesses.
It is part of a wider regeneration scheme aimed at breathing new life into north Aberdeenshire’s biggest towns.
Action plans have now been drawn up for Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Banff and Macduff.
On Tuesday, members of the Banff and Buchan area committee criticised the scheme as “meaningless” and a “waste of money”.
Fraserburgh councillor Brian Topping said the proposals were disappointing.
“They are limp, unexciting and uninformative and a waste of the £55,000 they cost to produce,” he said.
But project leaders have insisted that feedback from the public to the Fraserburgh plans – which went on show this week – had been very positive.
The main recommendation for the town is a facelift for Saltoun Square, with better lighting, trees and artistic sculptures.
A “dingy and unprepossessing” link between the square and Castle Street also needs to be upgraded.
There are also plans for a year-long programme of family-friendly events in the town centre.
Yesterday, local area manager Margaret-Jane Cardno, who helped host the public consultation exercise at the Broch’s new swimming pool and leisure facility, said: “We have been quite busy and the feedback we have been getting has been very good.
“The general feeling is that something has to be done about parts of the town, especially Saltoun Square.”
All views and opinions will be gathered for a future report to go before members of the council’s policy and resources committee next month. They will then be asked to make a decision on funding.