Applications sought from Kincardine and Mearns for Coastal Communities Fund

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Applications are being sought from coastal communities in the Kincardine and Mearns area for a share of monies from the Scottish Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

As part of the devolution settlement following the Scottish Independence Referendum, revenue generated from the Crown Estate’s marine assets within inshore waters now accrues to the Scottish Government, which in turn, devolved a proportion of it to the 32 local authorities.

Revenue is generated from activity such as licensing for offshore wind farms, oil and gas pipelines and aquaculture leases.

Aberdeenshire Council’s allocation totals £328,314, with each of the authority’s four area committees with coastlines having £12,500 to directly support local projects and initiatives.

One of the key criteria for funding is that the site of the project or the community must lie within one mile of Aberdeenshire’s coastline.

Examples of settlements which could be eligible include Findon, Portlethen, Newtonhill, Muchalls, Stonehaven, Catterline, Kinneff, Inverbervie, Gourdon, Johnshaven and St Cyrus.

As sites are specifically included, however, applications will be considered for projects taking place at coastal locations outwith any particular settlement.

Applications are being invited from groups or organisations representing communities of interest as well as more general areas such as wildlife or the environment, arts or wellbeing.

The funds must be able to be spent and claimed by March 31, 2021 and there will be no opportunity to extend this deadline.

Kincardine and Mearns Area Manager Bruce Stewart explained: “In light of the new challenges we are all facing as a result of the coronavirus, this funding may enable the creation of new projects to help with such themes as community health and wellbeing, enhancement of our local environment or celebration of our historical links and ties with the sea.

“We anticipate that there will be future funds available, so if your project is not sufficiently advanced to be able to submit a claim for this financial year, then you may be able to apply in future years.”

Applications must be submitted by noon on Monday, August 10 to the council’s Area Project Officer, Diane Henderson, at diane.henderson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

After the closing date, a report will be prepared for Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee when councillors will review the applications and allocate the funding to those projects most closely matching the criteria.

Key criteria:

Project must contribute to at least one of Aberdeenshire Council’s 11 priorities.

Projects must have a tangible link to the coast and/or the sea, for example:

• Projects that help people develop skills related to coastal or seafaring pursuits, activities or enterprises, for example sailing, fishing or boatbuilding
• Projects that celebrate the heritage of coastal and seagoing communities of place and interest, for example, a coastal or fishing village or township, historic boatbuilding or relevant clubs or organisations
• Projects that improve access to coastal areas, for example paths and viewpoints
• Projects that improve the coastal environment, for example applications to establish and support community groups looking after their coastline
• Projects that improve community-controlled infrastructure such as harbours, boathouses and buildings
• Town centre public realm improvements will not be eligible unless they can be demonstrated to improve access to the foreshore, beach or harbour

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