Local communities will have the chance to have a direct say on how resources are used to develop sport and leisure facilities in Stonehaven.
Facilities are used by a wider community in the local area, as well as attracting customers from around Aberdeenshire and beyond, given the popularity of the seaside town as a visitor destination, but many of them are ageing.
Live Life Aberdeenshire (LLA) officers are to build on work undertaken with the Parent Council and pupils of Mackie Academy, working with local groups and organisations to pull together ideas and proposals for the development of facilities which will then be voted on by the community later in the year.
The collaborative approach is designed to maximise the resources available to meet the future needs and demands of the local community.
This is expected to include the need to further increase the attractiveness of the area to the visitor market, benefitting the local economy.
The objective is the delivery of high-quality sport and leisure venues which are accessible with a positive and welcoming environment, offering better opportunities for people to lead healthier, happier lives.
The funding allocated to the participatory budgeting process is in addition to recent and soon to be delivered LLA investment at the town’s leisure centre and Open Air Swimming Pool.
Live Life Aberdeenshire delivers sports and cultural services on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council and is overseen by the Council’s Communities Committee.
Chair of the Communities Committee, Anne Stirling, said: "Participatory Budgeting can offer communities a real say in how money is spent for the benefit of their local area and I'm pleased we're able to offer this opportunity in Stonehaven.
"In due course local communities will be asked for their views on what sport, leisure and community facilities in the area should look like in future and we are very keen to get as many people's views as possible throughout this process.
“As we move towards recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic it will be more important than ever to work closely with our community partners to build back better and this is just one way in which we can bring decision making closer to communities.”
Committee vice-chair Judy Whyte said: "Although Stonehaven has a wide range of sports, leisure and community facilities at present, many of them are ageing and we need to look to the future to ensure limited resources are maximised for the benefit of the town and ensure the local community has a key role in determining what that looks like.
“This is good news for Stonehaven and surrounding communities, and I hope we can include as many local views as possible as part of this process.”
Live Life Aberdeenshire is currently identifying local groups and organisations to participate in the process, which is expected to run over the summer, with a community vote on proposals expected to take place in August or September.
Projects arising from the process are expected to enter the design stage at the end of 2021.