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Councillors Hail Broch Launch of Royal Conservatoire's NE Hub

>> 12 August 2018

Councillors from the SNP/Labour Partnership in Aberdeenshire attended Friday night’s launch of the North-east Hub of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in Fraserburgh’s Dalrymple Hall.

Bringing an RCS Hub to Fraserburgh was one of the key commitments of the SNP/Labour Partnership when in Administration in Aberdeenshire Council to assist in the area’s cultural and artistic regeneration.

The launch event on Friday night was attended by former Chair and Vice-Chair of the council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, Councillors Alison Evison and Charles Buchan, as well as former Provost of Aberdeenshire Hamish Vernal.

Cllr Alison Evison (Scottish Labour-North Kincardine) said:

"It was really exciting to be able to attend the official launch of the Royal Conservatoire's North-east Hub on Friday, marking an important step in the evolving collaboration between Aberdeenshire Council and the Royal Conservatoire, which had been set in train by our innovative and visionary SNP/Labour Administration in February 2017.

“With our consistent focus on music, art and culture as key contributors to individual and community development as well as to the local economy, we had recognised how the opportunities offered by the Royal Conservatoire could enhance the existing arts tradition in Fraserburgh and other Aberdeenshire towns.

“The value we place on this activity is clear - not only through this Hub, but also in our active support for music tuition in schools; our recognition of the key skills which visiting specialists have to offer and in another development on which the SNP and Labour led when in Administration - the setting up of Aberdeenshire's own pipe band."

Cllr Charles Buchan (SNP-Fraserburgh & District) said:

“We quickly realised that regeneration of Fraserburgh was not only about economic development. We had to help the development of our local heritage and culture to improve our pride in our town. The tie-up with the world-leading Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was an ideal opportunity to serve our young people through dance, traditional and other music, theatre skills and song.

“I’m so pleased that the showcase we saw in Fraserburgh has proved the immense value of the tie-up. Bringing the Conservatoire to Fraserburgh is proportionally equivalent to the arrival of the V and A Museum to Dundee. I’m delighted that this project, championed by the SNP and Labour when we were in Administration in the council, has come to fruition.”

Former Provost of Aberdeenshire Hamish Vernal added:

“I was delighted to be invited to attend the formal launch of the Fraserburgh Hub. It was clear from speaking to those involved that this will be a very welcome addition to the town and the enthusiasm of the youngsters who were performing was a pleasure to see.”

Andrew Comrie, Director of Academic Innovation, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said:

“This is a ground-breaking and innovative programme designed in partnership and with the initial aim to provide local access for young people in the North East to our Junior Conservatoire programmes in music, acting, dance and film as well as to our successful Transitions 20/40 programme which provides access to immersive training for young people living in the most disadvantaged parts of Scotland who show potential and commitment to pursuing study in the performing arts.”

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Ingram Welcomes Aden Country Park Heritage Lottery Fund Award

>> 16 July 2018

Central Buchan SNP councillor Jim Ingram has welcomed the award of £1.25million by the National Lottery, as part of the ‘Parks for People’ programme.

The funding will support the major restoration and redevelopment of both Aden’s historic buildings and landscape, along with the creation of a brand-new play area, improvements to park accessibility and signage, as well as supporting a programme to enhance biodiversity. The ambition of the project is to enhance, promote, and conserve Aden’s rich cultural, architectural, archaeological and natural heritage, creating a sustainable, high-quality visitor destination in rural Aberdeenshire for present and future generations to enjoy.

In addition, it is hoped this investment will encourage as many people as possible get involved with the heritage of Aden Country Park through opportunities for volunteering, community participation, audience development, interpretation, training and learning.

Commenting, Cllr Ingram said:

“I welcome the confirmation that Aden Park has been successful in its bid for the £1.25 million Lottery Grant.

“This will enable the Park Committee to proceed with its planned programme of improvements, which will bring long term advantages to the area, which have been further advanced by the recently awarded Green Flag status to the park.”

The total grant is for £1.25million. It is expected that the total project cost will be £2.13 million, with the rest of the funds coming from other grants, from non-cash contributions, volunteer time, developer obligations and investment from Aberdeenshire Council itself.

Work is due to start before the end of 2018 and will take five years to complete.

The main strands of the proposed project delivery phase include:
  • A range of improvements to visitor facilities, including improved access, upgraded courtyard, path works, the opening up of the ground floor of the Coach House to develop an interactive interpretation, education and activity area, along with the creation of wildlife and farming heritage trails.
  • Improvements to the biodiversity of habitats for plants and wildlife including works to the Mill Pond, new planting, the control of invasive species and woodland management.
  • The development of environmental, archaeological and heritage-related volunteer and learning opportunities.
  • A new adventure play area aimed at children of all ages and abilities.
  • The creation of outdoor learning classrooms with a new pond dipping platform, wildlife shelter, and nature trails.
  • The uncovering, recording, and interpretation of a series of significant archaeological sites including a Bronze Age settlement, lost Keith Tower, Mansion House, Stone Circle and WW1 trenches.
  • Formal learning programmes and resources developed for schools to complement the curriculum for excellence.
  • The stabilisation of the Gardener’s Cottage and the re-purposing of the Grieve’s House to create new enterprises and new income sources in the future.
  • The conservation of Aden’s designed landscape including the restoration of structures such as the three historic lodges, features and planting along with the stabilisation of at risk buildings.
  • The development of a wide range of interpretation e.g. interpretation centre, smartphone app, films, website, leaflets and panels, to encourage visitors to engage with Aden’s natural, built, cultural and archaeological heritage.
  • The delivery of a wide range of heritage related events and activities aimed at a wide range of audiences.
Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, added:

“Aden Country Park is enjoyed by all ages as a place to relax and reconnect with nature away from the pressures of daily life. As ‘Love Parks Week’ begins, we’re delighted that, thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are able to protect this precious green space making a difference to the quality of life for the people of Aberdeenshire.”

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Councillor Stephen Smith & MSP Stevenson Highlight Opportunities for Local Businesses at Boddam Site

>> 18 May 2018

Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith and Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson are highlighting opportunities for local businesses to benefit from contracts for the NorthConnect Converter Station to be built at Stirlinghill.

NorthConnect are set to hold two ‘Meet the Buyer’ days which will give potential local suppliers and businesses the chance to learn about the project, hear about the different packages involved and speak to the NorthConnect team directly as well as an opportunity for 1-2-1s for contracts involving the converter station, enabling works, cable laying, construction management, civils, engineering and supervision as well as peripheral economic opportunities locally.

The first will take place on Tuesday 29 May in Aberdeen and the second event will take place in Boddam on Wednesday 30 May. The event in Boddam will also include a short visit to the converter station site itself.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“I’m delighted that NorthConnect are staging this event in Boddam. It will be an excellent opportunity for North-east businesses to meet with the company and see how they can potentially get contracts for the work which will be undertaken.

“NorthConnect have a very good track record in terms of their engagement with local communities and I am pleased to see this continue with local businesses.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“I very much welcome this event and commend NorthConnect for arranging it. There are a range of ways in which local businesses can get involved, ranging from cable installation to the new facility and construction, right down to general services which are required on any large construction operation.”

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Peterhead Councillor Anne Allan Hails New Fishmarket Investment

>> 17 May 2018

Peterhead North & Rattray councillor Anne Allan has hailed the new Peterhead Fishmarket as a vote of confidence in the town and the industry.

The SNP councillor was speaking after a visit to the under-construction facility by members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Fisheries Working Group.

Commenting, Cllr Anne Allan said:

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the new fishmarket today, and I’m very impressed with the facilities it will offer to the fishing industry.

“Also important is the new training room that is incorporated within it, which will provide much needed opportunities for young people to see, learn and perhaps start a career within the processing sector.

“This investment by Peterhead Port Authority is a real vote of confidence in the town and in the future of its industry.”

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