Local projects reap top-up budget benefits

A NUMBER of local projects have received top-up funding at last Tuesday’s Formartine Area Committee.

However, councillors cautioned that a number of the projects were not entirely eligible for the full funding amounts applied for.

Among those projects backed by local members were Auchterellon Primary’s new cycling scheme, which received £2,000 and The Magic Woods at Balmedie, whose regeneration will benefit from a £5,000 cash injection.

The organisers of the projects in question had originally applied for £2,500 and £8,000 respectively, however councillors agreed that both applications were matters which required financial input from other services and stakeholders.

Speaking about the Magic Woods donation, Cllr Allan Hendry said: “The Magic Woods are a great resource for the local area, and it’s good to see action being taken to aid their regeneration. However, this is partially a schools and leisure service issue. £8,000 is too much, though a smaller amount would be reasonable.”

His sentiments were echoed by Cllr Cryle Shand, who said: “It’s a welcome concept, however I have to agree with Cllr Hendry that £8,000 is too much to spend on one project.”

Cllr Anne Robertson suggested that the organisers behind the scheme might want to look into the possibility of employing Community Payback Order labour to assist in the refurbishment of the woods. Members eventually settled on £5,000 for the project from the Area’s Top-Up Funds.

Auchterellon’s cycling scheme was also awarded a grant, though again at a lower amount than the full £2,500 requested.

Ellon Cllr Richard Thomson raised concerns about the amount of money which would be spent on bikes, on the basis that the objective would be to encourage children to ride their own ones.

He added, however: “This is an appropriate school for this sort of project, and I am broadly supportive.”

His sentiments were backed by the area committee, who made £2,000 available for the project.