Plans for a £20,000 scheme to launch the community-led revitalisation of Ellon have received financial backing from councillors.
The town’s community council had applied for a 25% contribution towards a charrette study which will help shape the future of Ellon.
But Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine Area Committee had to dip into its £10,000 Christmas Lights Fund – which has received no applications – to cover the additional costs of four separate cash funding bids as only £15,889 remained in its community pot.
Councillors heard from Kate Bond, head of the authority’s customer communication and improvement team, that the charette was “fantastic news” for Ellon.
Explaining that the study was likely to be undertaken by March next year, she said: “The charette is there to help Ellon engage and articulate its views on the future of the town.”
The local councillors welcomed the charrette, with committee chair Isobel Davidson saying there was a need to ensure all such aspects of community studies were included in the latest draft of the development plan going out for public consultation in the months to come.
Meanwhile, Belhelvie Parish Church was granted £5,000 towards its major £462,544 construction of a new community annexe at the Forsyth Hall.
The Workers Educational Association was granted £4,087 towards an overall project cost of £5,540 towards the delivery of ESOL to ensure Syrian New Scots in Ellon receive the full eight hours learning provision that the Home Office advise is necessary.
The Slains Environmental Action for change – SEAchange – was also awarded £4,560 towards a £6,310 study and business plan to explore the potential creation of a self-sustaining community-led venture in co-operation with existing community bodies.
Councillor Davidson commented: “This is a very interesting proposal and it would be good to see this sort of thing going forward and seeing what sort of community backing there is for it.”