Funding boost for coastal communities
A new framework focusing on the longer-term future use of Crown Estate Scotland funding has been agreed by councillors.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee endorsed criteria which will see 50% of Crown Estate Scotland allocations shared equally between the coastal administrative areas of Banff and Buchan, Buchan, Formartine and Kincardine and Mearns.
The remaining half of future monies will be allocated to the Aberdeenshire Coastal Communities Challenge Fund.
Crown Estate Scotland generates income from marine assets including aquaculture, offshore renewables, moorings and other coastal income. The council receives a proportion of this income annually to be used for coastal benefit such as support for local projects or initiatives and, while the level of funding varies by year, an average of £385,000 has been received to-date.
Funding has been awarded to a wide range of projects across Aberdeenshire’s coastal communities including new sailing club equipment, picnic benches and landscaping improvements at country parks, harbour improvements and a host of heritage initiatives.
The council’s four coastal area committees will identify specific projects or initiatives which they wish to see taken forward and determine how monies are spent. Projects applying for funding must have a tangible link to the coast and/or sea, however there is a degree of flexibility to support initiatives up to two miles outside of the immediate coastal area.
In light of the impact the pandemic has had on several existing projects, councillors also agreed to extend the deadline to commit and spend any unspent funds from the second Crown Estate allocation to March, 31 2022.
ISC chair Cllr Peter Argyle said: “Crown Estate Scotland funding has already become a very important source of financial support for a host of community projects. Our long-term pro-active approach to allocating this funding will enable our coastal area committees and their communities to take real ownership of new projects which will have massive benefits for all.”