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‘Absolutely vital’: Multi-million pound funding pledged to regenerate north-east and Highland communities

An artist's impression of the new affordable housing development at the former Victoria Road School in Torry, Aberdeen.
An artist's impression of the new affordable housing development at the former Victoria Road School in Torry, Aberdeen.

Plans to transform a 19th century Aberdeen school into affordable housing have received a “vital” £1.4 million shot in the arm – alongside a number of projects in the Highlands and Islands.

The Victoria Road school project, led by Torry Development Trust and Grampian Housing Association, will see the site turned into homes after it fell into disrepair following its closure in 2008.

A £25m package of funding through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) will also see Old Clyne school in Brora receive almost £1m to create a heritage centre on the site.

The Raasay Community Pontoon project will receive £442,000, while the Leverhulme Community Hub will collect £300,000.

Another project in Huntly that plans to take vacant town centre buildings into community ownership will also receive nearly £2.5m.

Nick Lindsay, Chairman of the Clyne Heritage Society said: “This is the best news that we could have hoped for, in what has been a very difficult year.

“This should unlock the final ‘brick-in-the-wall’ funds from other funding partners, so we can deliver this major development for Brora.”

Leverhulme Community Hub.

Torry Development Trust was given the go-ahead for its project to resurrect Victoria School site last year, with plans to create housing as well as community and outdoor space.

Aberdeen South MP, Stephen Flynn, said: “The Victoria Road project is a fantastic initiative which will redevelop a building at the centre of the Torry community, so I’m delighted to see £1.4m awarded.

“A huge congratulations must go to all those who have put hard graft into seeing this project edge closer to becoming a reality.”

Cllr Audrey Nicoll also described the investment as “absolutely vital” for the Torry area.

She added: “The volunteers involved with the project have worked unbelievably hard so it’s brilliant to see this money awarded by the Scottish Government.

“This project will make such a difference to the community here in Torry.”

Around 400 business and organisations are due to benefit from the projects, which aim to support or create more than 1220 jobs through the refurbishment of 26 empty buildings.

The RCGF, which is based on applications from all 32 Scottish local authorities and Urban Regeneration Companies, is released annually in partnership between the Scottish Government and Cosla.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “We have had to lead our lives locally, pulling together more as communities, to see off the many challenges arising from coronavirus.

“This latest round of investment into local projects continues our ongoing support for vibrant and accessible town centres and communities.”

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