Proposals to set aside £400,000 to breathe new life into derelict buildings in four north-east ports are expected to be agreed this week.
Aberdeenshire Council has announced plans to create a property investment fund open to property owners in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff to bring empty and derelict buildings back into use.
An initial sum of £400,000 had been earmarked for the scheme, which will run over two years.
Now the local authority’s policy and resources committee has been encouraged to throw its weight behind the regeneration initiative.
In his report to councillors, director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer said: “The property investment fund was created after the regeneration member officer working group discussed the issue of intervention in property issues, mainly after witnessing the scale of dereliction in Macduff and on some streets in Banff such as Bridge Street.”
Through the fund, grants of up to £10,000 – or 50% of the cost – would be awarded to property owners to carry out feasibility studies, surveys or architectural drawings of the work they want done. Up to £100,000 could then be awarded for actual renovation works.
Mr Archer said similar dereliction problems were also prevalent in Peterhead and Fraserburgh and that the two-year trial initiative – which is central to the council’s regeneration agenda – should cover all four north-east ports.
He added: “This trial would demonstrate what is achievable and what is required to entice private and community developers to invest in their town centres.
“This will also give an idea of the amount of budget needed on an ongoing basis.”
An initial £400,000 of funding is expected to be set aside from the council’s town centre regeneration reserve, which currently stands at £1.2million.
The scheme has been endorsed by members of the council’s infrastructure committee and will be presented to the policy committee at Woodhill House on Thursday for final approval.