It is hoped a new scheme highlighting investment and development opportunities in Peterhead will further a turnaround in the town’s fortunes.
Invest in Peterhead, a two-year marketing project kicking-off tomorrow, aims to promote opportunities, identify gaps and create business spaces in the town.
While already celebrating inward investment of £25 million by businesses, it will look to bring five redundant premises, including the former Royal British Legion, back into use, and Peterhead’s existing town trail relaunched.
John Pascoe, chairman of Invest in Peterhead, said: “There is a renewed energy for the development of enterprise and commercial opportunities in Peterhead town centre.
“This is not only about changing the perception of the town and its retail heart, but also seeing it as a hub for wider economic opportunities in Aberdeenshire.
“A number of recent developments point to this vision and ambition being turned into reality, including more than £25 million of inward investment from good quality independents such as Brew Toon, The Printworks, Lettuce Eat Healthy and the new Arc Cinema and chains such as Aldi, Travelodge, Brew Dog – all recognising the potential in Peterhead with their investment in business premises.”
The Invest In Peterhead working group incorporates estate agents, business owners, investors, developers, architects, Rediscover Peterhead and Aberdeenshire Council.
And central to the initiative is a print and online publication showcasing regularly updated examples of available premises, as the team aims to bring sectors including family dining, digital technologies, leisure and fitness, creative industries and convenience stores to the town.
Among the first vacant properties to be promoted are the former H. Samuel store, Wiseman’s, DFS, the former Happit shop and the Legion premises.
Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith hopes the project will complement the recent major industrial investment around the harbour area and prove there is more to Peterhead that just its fishing and energy industries.
He said: “There is a tangible transformation going on across the North-east and that is demonstrated by some very strong investment figures and ever-developing economic opportunities.
“As the largest town in Aberdeenshire, Peterhead is highly entrepreneurial, with many micro businesses and SMEs which add huge value to the economy.
“They are complemented by large employers in a range of sectors such as engineering, marine, energy, textiles, and food and drink.
“I am confident Invest in Peterhead will bring even more investment to the town centre.”
The team believes Peterhead is bucking the trend when it comes to the retail trade downturn, with high profile arrivals such as the Arc Cinema to Drummers Corner and and a host of new outlets boosting the town in recent months.
Peterhead councillor Diane Beagrie added: “We can be in absolutely no doubt this has been a very tough year for all of our businesses – whether in retail, leisure or hospitality.
“However, we are seeing very real and welcome green shoots of economic recovery in our town centre and beyond which gives us real confidence for the future.”
The project will also fund a five-panel extension and relaunch of the existing town trail, with a new section linking Peterhead Prison Museum to the town centre.
To register for the Invest in Peterhead virtual launch, via Zoom at 1pm tomorrow, visit EventBrite at https://bit.ly/3o2aQ7U.
There is also more on the new initiative at www.invest-rediscoverpeterhead.co.uk.