SUPPORTING LOCAL ECONOMIES – 1ST REVIEW

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Stonehaven Town Centre

We want Kincardine & Mearns to be recognised as a supportive business environment and an area where residents, businesses and social enterprises are encouraged and assisted to make their communities self-sufficient, providing opportunities for all. 

Action 1
An Aberdeenshire Council Community Economic Development Officer is being provided to support communities to strengthen the Rural Area Partnership network in Kincardine & Mearns and thereby improve the capacity of organisations to support community economic development and social enterprise.
Who
Current rural partnerships, wider community stakeholders and members, CLD, CVSA.
When
1. Identify and establish  CED resource – Summer 20132. Support engagement & development of steering group – Summer 2013 – 2014.
2. Support group meetings – QTR 3 2014
However, it is not possible to state a timescale for the current phase of work with any certainty at present
Action Progress
A CED officer commenced support in 2013Open meetings organised with/by KMAP and MAP.
An initial steering group for a new Partnership has formed.
Current activity is focused on developing the capacity of the steering group and the priorities, membership and structure for a new rural partnership for K&M  (see Engaged Communities Supporting Themselves priority, action 2)
Success against Outcome
 Evidence exists of increased involvement in the Rural Partnership arena.

 

Action 2
Working together, Aberdeenshire Council and interested local organisations will take forward opportunities to transfer assets to communities to better meet local needs.  In line with these transfers, Aberdeenshire’s Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy will be monitored to ensure it is flexible and supportive.
Who
Interested community organisations, Aberdeenshire Council K&M Area Manager & CAT Steering Group, wider communities
When
 Respond to requests for assistance as received – Ongoing to March 2014
Action Progress
Meeting with & advice provided to Furniture Lodge group regarding business plan content for Cowie Lane. Revised plan submitted by group to CAT steering group.  Decision pending.See also comments in Priority Area 12.

 

Action 3
Aberdeenshire Council will engage local business organisations in the development of a Town Centres Action Plan and Toolbox to strengthen the economic base of K & M towns and encourage local businesses and communities to work in partnership to create more sustainable and vibrant town centres.
Who
Business groups and community development trusts, Aberdeenshire Council’s Economic Development section & K&M Area Manager.
When
1. Recruit Town Centre executive post 0 October 20132. Revised timetable for developing the Town Centre Action plan – End 2013
Action Progress
Since the original action was established, a strategic decision was taken to increase the delivery resource and recruitment requirements, of necessity, have delayed proposed work.  A revised timetable will need to be advised once staff appointed.  Town Centre Executive recruited mid-October 2013. Recruitment of a Strategic Regeneration Manager underway

 

Action 4
Working together, Aberdeenshire Council and community organisations will develop and promote tourism opportunities in Kincardine & Mearns including developing assets in the Mearns Regeneration Priority Area.
Who
Community groups, Aberdeenshire Council’s Economic Development section
When
1. One project identified – June 20132.
2. One project identified – March 2014
Action Progress
 – Reprint of Stonehaven Tourism Group Walking Guide & Map.
 – Stonehaven Business Association’s Stonehaven the coastal gem booklet – for visitor experience and local business promotion – coincided with the reopening of the caravan park.  50% grant given by Council; Free storage of both on Council premises.
– Jewels of Kincardineshire – project proposed as part of the Mearns Regeneration programme. Linking information on heritage assets e.g. Gourdon and Johnshaven to create a trail. Budget allocated. Project due for completion by end of March 2014
Success against Outcome
Reprint of maps & demand increase due to dispensers installed at Dunnottar Castle.
Production of Stonehaven the coastal gem booklet

 

Stonehaven Caravan Park
Stonehaven Caravan Park
Action 5
Aberdeenshire Council and Business Gateway will work together to support business development in Kincardine & Mearns by providing advice and financial support that will sustain and create employment
Who
 Business Gateway and Aberdeenshire Council
When
1. Summary report activity – half year, annually October
2. Annual report activity – full year including estimated jobs created/sustained annually – April
Action Progress
Advice, workshops and support provided by Business Gateway (BG) and additional advice and financial support provided by Aberdeenshire Council through First Employee Grant Scheme, Rural Shop Support Scheme and the Support for Aberdeenshire Business Scheme (SAB), or by access to other national schemes for high growth businesses.
One Laurencekirk company has withdrawn from planned office development to be undertaken by the Council. A commitment to provide a rental grant has been decommitted as a consequence
Success against Outcome
As at 30 September 2013 interim results for K&M show:

  • 39 start ups supported
  • 4 businesses supported for hi-growth development
  • 3 web site reviews
  • 2 supported through Survive & Thrive programme
  • 1 First Employee Grant (£1,000)
  • 2 SAB grants totalling £12,620 (relate to job creation & marketing)
  • I SAB loan £8,000 (plant & equipment)

 

Action 6
 Businesses, community development trusts and Aberdeenshire Council will work together to encourage the development of employment sites across K & M.  In particular the “study on potential infrastructure for employment” in Laurencekirk will be completed and inputted to the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan.   Aberdeenshire Council’s Estates section will draw up and promote a new policy outlining how and when the Council will be able to assist businesses with new build and property purchase projects.
Who
Aberdeenshire Council, Local Development Trusts and local businesses.
When
1. Commence Laurencekirk study – May 2013
2. Completed study with recommendations – End March 2013
3. Estates policy development – Spring 2014 onwards
Action Progress
1. & 2 Laurencekirk Infrastructure for Employment: Halliday Fraser Munro has been commissioned as the lead consultant for the project which is subject to the following stages:
I Options appraisal across the settlement
II Targetted consultations on draft proposals
III Agree route map to progress recommendations
3. Estates policy development scheduled for 2015

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