Harbour fund provides cash boost for Aberdeen community groups fund

Michelle Handforth, centre, with representatives of the three groups
Michelle Handforth, centre, with representatives of the three groups

Community groups have been handed thousands of pounds of funding from Aberdeen Harbour Board.

Three awards of £10,000 have been given to the Fittie Community Development Trust, Culter and District Pipe Band and the Middlefield Community Project by the board’s Community Action Fund.

Since the fund began in 2014, more than half a million pounds has been donated to charities and organisations, benefiting tens of thousands of people in the north-east.

Michelle Handforth, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, said the selected organisations were “synonymous with the harbour’s guiding principal of creating prosperity for generations”.

She added: “It is a privilege to support these organisations, which make real improvements to many lives across the region.

“We hope we are able to enhance their work and look forward to getting involved in their projects in the coming months.”

Fittie Community Development Trust is refurbishing the Gospel Hall in Fittie to make it fit for purpose as a community hall.

The funding will meet the costs of a new entranceway to the hall.

Pauline Brown, chairwoman of the group, said it is an “opportunity to mark the long-standing, mutually dependant relationship between Fittie and Aberdeen Harbour”.

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Meanwhile, the Culter and District Pipe Band, which was founded in 1938 and regularly competes in local and national competitions under the leadership of Pipe Major Grant Noble and Lead Drummer Chris Carter, also has plans for the funds it received.

The group wants to use its award to restart a novice band for under-18s in the area and expand a successful teaching programme to young players.

Chris Carter said: “The funding will allow us to purchase new equipment and uniforms for the Novice Juvenile Band that we have been building.

“It will also go towards new learning material and resources to ensure that each individual receives the highest quality of tuition, giving them the best possible musical development.

“The band are extremely thankful for the funding and it will provide a great boost to the organisation across the board.”

The Middlefield Community Project will direct the funding towards wages for a mental health and youth worker for 12 to 26-year-olds in the area.

The scheme will involve nine sessions throughout the week.

Community worker Ron Bird said: “We are going to be using the money to employ someone to work with the young people, help them with their recovery and organise activities for them.

“We’ll be conducting a number of programmes to help young people who have been affected through their road to recovery.

“It’s the first time this kind of thing has ever been done.

“The new employee will be working for 20 to 25 hours a week and hopefully that will bring massive benefits to the young people.”