Local communities are being asked for their views on how Aberdeenshire could be improved with access to a new source of European funding.
European Union money will be available from 2014-20 to support Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) Programmes.
Funds are to be managed by partnerships known as local action groups, similar to present LEADER and Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund programmes.
Aberdeenshire Council is working with community, private and public sector partners to prepare local development strategies which will form the basis of an application to the Scottish Government to secure funding for the North-east.
Two local development strategies are being prepared – one each for north and south Aberdeenshire.
They will be based on the views of communities, other stakeholders and the existing development strategies for the region.
Thoughts on which activities should be prioritised for funding over the next seven years are being sought as part of the process.
As a first step, open public events will be held where people can provide ideas and views on what should be included and find out about the new programmes.
The public event in Stonehaven will take place on March 13, from 6.30 - 9.30, at the Invercarron Centre. (More information contact (01467) 628572 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chairman of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), Peter Argyle, said: “Aberdeenshire has benefited extensively from European funded programmes, with the Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER and Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund having supported more than 150 projects to date.
“Our communities have the opportunity now to build upon this success by shaping new programmes for Aberdeenshire for the next seven years and I would encourage as many people as possible to attend the events.”
Vice-chair Alan S. Buchan added: “It’s impressive to see how well communties have come together to make successful applications to previous European funding streams, helping to create greater sustainability in our area’s economy.
“This is an opportunity to say how European funding should be used to enable communities to plan for the future and create an even more vibrant place in which to live and work.”
The public events are being arranged by Aberdeenshire’s Rural Partnerships and places can be confirmed for events in each area using the contact details.
Those unable to attend but interested in finding out more about the funding programmes should see the Aberdeenshire Council website: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/support/community-led-development