A long-awaited £3million scheme to protect a north-east town from severe flooding has been officially opened.
Business and residents of Huntly have been calling for increased protection for a number of years after falling victim to repeated deluges.
Last year, during the Storm Frank floods, the River Deveron burst its banks.
And in November 2009, more than 30 people were forced from their homes when a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours.
The scheme – which is designed to reduce the risk posed by flooding to the Meadows area of the town and the A920 Huntly to Dufftown Road – has now been officially opened.
Designed by Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd, the work includes new embankments both in the Meadows area and adjacent to the A920 at the Ittingstone Burn.
It also involves the creation of a new walkway along some of the embankments.
The official opening, at the town’s Nordic and Outdoor Centre, was carried out by Deputy Provost Ron McKail.
He said: “Local residents will be well aware of the importance of this scheme, and also what a long, complicated and expensive process it has been to get to this point.
“The project has been progressed as quickly as possible, recognising the need to provide extra security against flooding to residents and businesses in the town, while also giving appropriate consideration to the views of objectors.
“I’m very pleased to be here today, marking the official opening of this scheme, which will provide benefits to the wider Huntly community for many years to come.”
The scheme has been designed to reduce the risk of flooding to residential, community and business properties along the River Deveron, the Ittingstone Burn and the Meadow Burn.
It comprises a number of individual elements, including creating storage for flood water to the west of the Meadows estate by constricting the flow in the Meadow Burn.
The scheme took about 10 months to complete and started last October.
Design work has been progressing on the project since April 2011.
In 2015, a public hearing was held after two landowners objected to the proposals.