A Moray harbour has been officially granted given a boost of more than £750,000.
Councillors backed the funding for Buckie Harbour when they met on Tuesday, June 29.
It is indended that the £770,000, from the Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP), will be used to buy unused and derelict properties along the harbour.
Developing the area will help facilitate offshore wind development as well as its supply chain and training needs.
The PBIP aims to ensure that all place based investments are shaped by the needs and aspirations of local communities.
By bringing relevant services, enterprise and communities together, work can be done to make towns, villages and neighbourhoods more viable.
Moray Council convener, Shona Morrison, said after the successful meeting: “Buckie is well placed to support the blossoming offshore renewable industry and attract supply chain business that can include parts supply, vessel support, diving, lubricants, training and more.
“Using the significant PBIP funding to procure and prepare vacant and sites and derelict properties on Commercial Road for harbour development provides for fantastically positive regeneration activity in Buckie Central East, supporting our aim to create employment opportunities in the town.”
More opportunities for the community
The regeneration of the Buckie Harbour area will enable the community to access employment and volunteering opportunities.
Funding will be available to local governments over five years, with Moray being allocated £770,000 for the 2021/22 period. There is an expectation that works will be delivered, or contracts let and work started by the end of next March.
Buckie Central East was identified as a priority area in the local outcome improvement plan. The report states that there are a number of vacant or derelict properties on Commercial Road Buckie “that diminish the character of the area” and suggest it is in decline.
Councillor Tim Eagle, of the Moray Conservatives and Unionists, welcomed the council’s “excellent” recommendation to approve the funding boost.
He said: “I have had many discussions with harbour users and locals who would love to see the harbour busy with a wide variety of work.
“Many will know that a significant review was undertaken a few years ago as part of the local outcome improvement plan. Local people highlighted at that time the importance of the harbour and about local employment opportunities.
“This investment will allow the council to look at the options of buying some of the unused and derelict buildings in the harbour area so we can work with local users and the wider community to prepare for what may be a very exciting future.”
Buckie plays ‘a significant role’
The PBIP also contributes towards net zero emissions tackling inequality and disadvantage, among other objectives.
There is a desire within the community to further develop the renewable sector in the area to bring specialist training and employment opportunities.
Discussions are also ongoing about the part Buckie Harbour could play in the Moray West Offshore windfarm project development. The report highlights that Buckie is “well placed” to support the industry and attract supply chain business.
Mr Eagle added: “I look forward to working with local people and officers on these possibilities and how we ensure it works for everyone in Buckie.”
A £500,000 project to improve Buckie Harbour previously took place in 2018, with 150ft of steel sheet pipes installed to strengthen the pier for years to come.