One of the north-east’s most popular visitor attractions has unveiled a new park paid for by 5ps from the supermarket bag charges.
The play area at Macduff Marine Aquarium, boosted by a £12,000 donation from its local Tesco branch, has introduced wooden sharks, an octopus and a starfish to the coastal attraction.
The centre piece of the project is a wooden boat, which has been named Duffy – as suggested by King Edward Primary pupil Gregor Smith.
Information boards to educate an older audience about marine life also form part of the project.
Aquarium manager Clare Matthews said: “We want to say a big thank you to the Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium who organised the grant through the Tesco bag scheme.
“We’ve got something which younger visitors will enjoy and it enhances our space.”
She added that the visitor centre has gone from “strength to strength”.
Last year, the facility was named the UK’s No 1 underwater attraction by TripAdvisor, and this weekend Santa will return to the site to feed the fish a festive dinner.
Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, funded by the 5p carrier bag levy, raised money in the Banffshire area and shoppers voted on which projects were worthy of grant funding. The aquarium won the popular vote.
Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford praised the efforts of the aquarium team for making it such a beloved attraction.
She said: “The Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium group have done a real power of work in supporting and promoting what is the north-east’s biggest tourist attraction, and they are to be commended for their efforts.”
As part of the project, local school pupils were asked to send in stories, poems and pictures with more than 200 entries being received.
Suggestions were also invited for the naming of the boat, and a wide range of names came forward before Gregor’s was picked.