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Macduff aquarium expansion, Peterhead cultural quarter and Fraserburgh seafood school in £20million Aberdeenshire Council vision

Drawings for the Macduff aquarium expansion and Peterhead cultural quarter. Photo: Aberdeenshire Council.
Drawings for the Macduff aquarium expansion and Peterhead cultural quarter. Photo: Aberdeenshire Council.

An expansion to Macduff aquarium, a Peterhead cultural quarter and a seafood training school have been included in a £20million blueprint for the region from Aberdeenshire Council.

The local authority is making an application to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund this July and hopes to get public support for its ambitious plans.

Having been shown the green light by full council in April, the teams behind the Aberdeenshire bid now have until July to submit its submission.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of planning Paul Macari. Picture supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

Paul Macari, head of planning and economy at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “There can be no doubt that this is one of the biggest funding submissions this authority has ever made and, if successful, will be transformative for the towns and areas involved.

“The two projects at Macduff and Peterhead, in particular, will provide new cultural, educational and social opportunities and will increase the towns’ and the region’s attraction as a tourism destination for many years to come.”

David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan, said: “As Aberdeen’s award from the UK Government last year shows, the Levelling Up Fund provides an exciting opportunity to maximise the potential of the north-east and bring forward investment that will have a lasting benefit.”

Council officers are now progressing economic and financial appraisals and carrying out engagement on the projects with local communities.

What are the plans?

Macduff Aquarium

Under the proposed plans, a significant modernisation and extension to the existing aquarium at Macduff will be undertaken, enhancing the visitor experience with improved exhibits which capitalise on new technologies and provide immersive experiences.

A view of how Macduff Aquarium will look, if funding is approved. Supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

The council is also considering the potential to incorporate a lobster hatchery in the project, together with a flexible learning space to build partnerships with the further and higher education sector.

A cafe, restaurant and retail space could also potentially be created, with additional improvements to outdoor spaces including links to nearby coastal paths.

Fraserburgh

In Fraserburgh the plan is for a new multi-purpose Scottish Seafood Centre of Excellence would be constructed on a prominent seaward site in the town.

To be owned and operated by the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA), the aim is to support a vision for the north-east of Scotland to become the destination of choice for investment in skills, youth employment, workforce development, technology and operating standards with supporting excellence in all aspects of the fishing, seafood and related value chain.

How the Scottish Seafood Centre of Excellence would look in Fraserburgh. Supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

Facilities under consideration include classrooms and training facilities, a test kitchen and demonstration space, a cookery school and office accommodation.

Peterhead

In Peterhead, the creation of a cultural quarter in Peterhead will, it is hoped, help revitalise the heart of the town by transforming the disused Arbuthnot House into a new destination museum and cultural hub.

The desire is to provide a modern facility in a sensitively-restored historic building to showcase Aberdeenshire’s extensive historic collections and attract temporary national exhibitions.

Peterhead cultural quarter. Supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

In addition, multi-purpose and workshop spaces would be provided to support participation and learning. The facility would include a café or restaurant with views of the harbour, overlooking a new public plaza created in Broad Street featuring significant green space.

The project is also aiming to refurbish the existing Arbuthnot Museum and Library building on the town’s St Peter Street with potential options for use including space for business and/or community use.


For more information and access to the online engagement running until June 17, visit: https://engage.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/hub-page/levelling-up-bids

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