The team behind plans to build a marina in a bustling Mearns town have been given a funding boost.
Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) has been awarded a total of £22,500, bringing it a step closer to developing a sailing school, diving school and yacht club at the harbour.
The group unveiled the ambitious plans – aimed at making the town a “premier destination” for tourists – last year and won the support of local councillors who agreed Aberdeenshire Council should offer advice and assistance.
Now the STP has secured £11,250 funding from the Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund, which the authority has matched.
The money, along with £2,500 from the group itself, will be used for a feasibility study on the project, which could cost between £5million-£8million to bring to fruition.
It is understood the partnership will now set up a sub-committee with existing harbour-users to ensure everyone who uses the area has the chance to have their say.
Michelle Ward, from the group, said: “Stonehaven Town Partnership is really pleased that they have been able to access this funding. We’re looking forward to working with Aberdeenshire Council and all other interested parties to explore all possibilities and the potential for any future developments.
“I would also like to thank Karen Smith and David-John McRobbie, from Aberdeenshire Council, for their help with the application.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said the funding would allow the group to investigate the viability of the development.
He said: “Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there may be demand for a marina and that Stonehaven could expect to see wider economic benefits from the development of such a facility.
“The feasibility study will engage with harbour-users and other stakeholders to get their views as well as addressing employability opportunities, potential revenue streams for local businesses, explore economic sectors such as tourism and investigate the technical capacity of the harbour.”