A Buchan community enterprise has seen business take off after a £32,000 grant from an EU and Scottish Government rural initiative enabled them to expand their caravan park.
The Aden Caravan Park, based at Aden Country Park in Buchan, provides much needed funding for the community. They had operated the caravan park for a few years, with all profits going back into the local community, but felt that they needed a bolder plan in order to give them enough money to upgrade existing facilities and offer new services.
The EU and Scottish Government programme funding enabled the park to invest in a wide ranging upgrade programme, investing in CCTV and wifi and three new glamping pods, designed for families.
Liz Scott, a member of the Buchan Development Initiative, who own the Caravan Park, said: “We decided on glamping pods as they would provide affordable family accommodation for visitors. In addition, our existing facilities needed to be upgraded to ensure that we are attractive to our visitors.
“Since the glamping pods opened, they have been fully booked. It has brought in a lot of additional revenue that is being reinvested in other park facilities and the Buchan Development Initiative. We couldn’t have done it without the LEADER funding programme.”
Many other north Aberdeenshire projects have benefited from the grants, with over a million pounds already being distributed. Two million remain, with up to three funding rounds due this year (2018). Organisers are looking for any projects that will develop sustainable employment prospects in the rural area, particularly tourism, retail or farm diversification projects.
Duncan Leese, Chairman of the North Aberdeenshire Leader Action Group, said: “This is a great example of the kind of community enterprise that the LEADER programme can support. We would love to see more of this kind of project applying since it shows wider benefits to the local community.”
Each applicant will be supported through the process by a Leader project officer, who will ensure that the project is support throughout the process.