Popular Retail Plus Scheme Returns to Peterhead

>> Friday, 6 January 2017

A scheme offering support to retailers to strengthen their businesses and make them more sustainable will return to Peterhead this year. Aberdeenshire Council’s previous iterations of the Retail Plus Scheme proved popular when they ran in Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff and were considered very successful.

A further phase will now run in Peterhead as part of the Peterhead Development Partnership Vision and Action Plan, the regeneration plan for the town. Local businesses which have not taken part in Retail Plus before are invited to an information evening at the town’s Albert Hotel on Wednesday, January 11 at 5.30pm.

The project is split into two parts and will run over a number of months.

The first, delivered by retail management consultants The Retailer, gives each business access to specialist expertise and confidential advice tailored to its individual needs, to help maintain long-term sustainability.

The second complements the expert advice by offering an improvement and enhancement scheme, aimed at encouraging and supporting private investment in Peterhead’s town centre premises.

Up to £2,000 grant funding will be available from Aberdeenshire Council, to be matched with 50% funding from applicants, to help implement the advice received.

Managing Director of The Retailer Group, Gordon Bell, said:

“We are delighted to once again be supporting additional local independent retailers via Aberdeenshire’s Retail Plus program.

“These are challenging conditions for all retailers, so assistance at this time is particularly valuable. We have seen many achievements in the earlier phases and are looking forward to working with more local retailers, hopefully repeating these previous successes.”

Chairman of the Buchan Area Committee and SNP councillor for Peterhead South & Cruden, Stuart Pratt, said:

“This is the second retail plus project to be delivered from the Peterhead regeneration plan, and it aims to secure business viability and maintain town centre services.

“It is a great opportunity for retail businesses to seek expert advice and grant funding to invest in their business.”

Katrina Allan, of local bakers Murdoch Allan, who took part in the initial scheme added:

“The Retail Plus programme has been fantastic for our business – it has allowed us to make the changes we needed quickly to grow our shops.

“The advice and help from The Retailer has been excellent – they are always available and have a genuine passion for your business to succeed.”

Iain Sutherland, Project Officer for Rediscover Peterhead BID, said:

“This scheme has been a major investment by Aberdeenshire Council and we know that businesses value this advice and assistance, so we are keen to see it back to help the town centre.”

Full details of the Retail Plus Scheme will be announced at the meeting in January.

There is no need to book in advance and refreshments will be provided. It will also be possible to sign up for the scheme at the end of the launch event.

Representatives from The Retailer and Aberdeenshire Council will be available to answer any questions businesses may have.


Local Councillors Comment on Resignation of Councillor Tom Malone

>> Friday, 30 December 2016

© Aberdeenshire Council
SNP colleagues of Peterhead South & Cruden Independent councillor Tom Malone have commented on his decision to step-down as a councillor from the end of next month owing to ill-health.

Cllr Stuart Pratt, Chair of the Buchan Area Committee and SNP councillor for Peterhead South & Cruden said:

“Tom is passionate about Peterhead and has always wanted the very best for the area. He has a prominent role in the community and we will miss him at area committee. I understand that this must have been a difficult decision for him and wish him good health in the future.”

Fellow Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith said:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Tom as a fellow Ward councillor. I am sorry he has had to take the decision to stand down but fully understand his reasons and wish him well for the future.”

Co-leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Richard Thomson added:

“Cllr Malone has worked hard to support his constituents in Peterhead and has a prominent role in the local community, both through his work as a councillor and his involvement in his church.

“He has played an active role on the Housing and Social Work Committee, where his background as a social worker gave him a useful insight into this area of work. All Tom's colleagues will be saddened to hear of his ill health and we wish him the very best in the future.”

A vacancy will remain in the Peterhead South & Cruden constituency until the local government elections in May.


Positive Progress Towards Future for NE Dairy Sector

>> Thursday, 29 December 2016

A study into options for the North-east dairy industry supported by Aberdeenshire Council and Opportunity North-east (ONE) has identified potential investors.

The study was initiated following the decision by Muller Wiseman to close their milk processing plant in Aberdeen and truck milk to Bellshill, Lanarkshire, for processing, for which producers are charged 1¾ pence per litre. This, coupled with low milk prices over recent years has put the future of the North-east dairy sector in serious doubt.

Now, the second stage of the dairy study has seen a prospectus selling the North-east dairy opportunity prepared and widely promoted in the UK and internationally. Three serious investment prospects have emerged from this work.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Cllr David Aitchison (SNP-Westhill & District), whose remit includes economic development, said:

“This is a positive first step to ensuring the continued economic viability of dairy farming in the North-east. Partnership working has ensured that we have come this far and I am hopeful there will be a positive outcome.”

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson commented:

“I am delighted that a number of potential investors have expressed an interest in the opportunities which exist in the milk sector here in the North-east following the decision by Muller Wiseman to close their operations here.

“This represents important progress and while we should be cautious at this early stage, Aberdeenshire Council and ONE are to be commended for their efforts to date.”


'Pheasants for Presents' Going from Strength to Strength

Now in its third year, Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside Councillor Geva Blackett’s ‘Pheasants for Presents’ initiative is covering an even larger area than her 800 sq mile ward and stretches from Strathdon and Braemar in the west to Blairs in the east

Setting up partnerships with local estates and Tesco, the now annual Christmas event makes sure vulnerable people in the area have food on their table and wood on their hearths plus some extras for pets and children from Tesco.

Councillor for Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside Geva Blackett said

“Many people are feeling the pincers of austerity through absolutely no fault of their own and with so many job losses in the oil industry this year we are seeing even more folk facing a bleak winter – I just want to make sure that on what is meant to be a happy time for people, I can do a bit to help out.”

This year’s partnership includes Balmoral estate who give logs and fresh vegetables from HM the Queen’s garden, Dunecht estates have donated venison, Invercauld estate have provided the pheasants and also partridge, Sheridan’s the Ballater butcher did the meat preparation while Tesco in Banchory and the Lang Stracht have joined forces to make sure there are crackers on the table, mince pies in the oven and even food for pets

Alex Hogg, Chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said:

“It is good to see the Pheasants for Presents initiative run again. SGA members have been involved since the first year, helping to source the game which I am sure will be much appreciated. Councillor Blackett deserves credit for starting what is a very positive initiative and all those assisting are playing their part in something very worthwhile at a time of year which can carry its own pressures but clearly demonstrates the community spirit in Scotland's rural communities."

Aaron Philip, Manager of Tesco in Banchory said

“I am extremely supportive of this initiative because I know that everything that is donated goes directly to those who need it.”


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