North-east community projects could be handed funding boost

© DC ThomsonAberdeenshire Council education boss Laurence Findlay
Aberdeenshire Council education boss Laurence Findlay

Wind surfing equipment, defibrillators and a new kitchen are among some of the items which north-east community groups could buy if councillors approve funding.

The Banff and Buchan area committee will consider 21 bids for a slice of the area initiative fund next week.

The budget for the scheme for the current financial year was set at £80,000 in March and a list of eligible community projects has now been drawn up.

The initiatives must support a range of improvements such as boosting the appearance of towns and villages in Banff and Buchan, providing stronger and safer communities, supporting health and active communities, tackling poverty, and enhancing transport and educational development.

All the organisations are required to submit a copy of their constitution and their most recent audited accounts.

Among the organisations bidding for funding is Fraserburgh Sea Cadets, who are looking for nearly £4,000 to go towards the purchase of wind surfing gear, while Sandhaven and Pitullie have applied for £5,000 to buy a portable cabin, VHF radio and a defibrillator and the Gardenstown community cafe is hoping to receive more than £5,000 for a new kitchen.

Other projects include £5,000 for repairs to the Portsoy Scout hut after vandals stole lead from its roof and £10,000 for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Turriff to train volunteers as part of a scheme aimed at tackling child poverty.

The fund can provide up to 80% towards the total cost of a project with a maximum of £5,000 or £10,000 if the work is deemed a priority by the community.

A report by Aberdeenshire Council education director Laurence Findlay said the money would be made available once the work had been carried out.

He said: “Payment will be made retrospectively when receipts have been obtained as proof that the money has been spent in accordance with the proposals applied for. Grants must be claimed before the end of the financial year in which they are awarded.

“Each successful applicant will be required to provide a short outcome-focused report on the project and these reports will be presented to members.”

The Banff and Buchan area committee will discuss the applications when they meet in Fraserburgh on Tuesday.