Over a number of years, Aberdeenshire Council have dedicated time and resources to improving Fraserburgh’s built environment, but it was the spread of physical, social, community and economic outcomes which were recognised with the title of ‘Scotland’s Most Improved Place’ at the 2021 SURF awards. In 2022, Aberdeenshire Council commissioned Kevin Murray Associates – the award-winning urban design and planning consultancy based in Glasgow – to work with the local community and stakeholders to co-design a new waterfront strategy.

KMA led a multi-disciplinary team with RTU and WMUD to produce a masterplan & vision for the Fraserburgh Beach Area, one of the town’s key assets, which has seen increased footfall over recent years and has the potential to contribute significantly to improved socioeconomic outcomes for the area.

Attendees at a consultation event

The purpose of the project was to deliver a plan for the beach that would better meet the needs of both locals and visitors, and engagement with the local community, youth, and stakeholders was at the heart of this. The new area was developed through a series of co-design workshops open to all and the final masterplan has been one of genuine co-design, with over 1,500 people participating throughout the year-long process and a focus on community capacity building and ownership.

The masterplan is driven by five themes, which include access, activities, dwell, facilities, and environment & sustainability. The themes reflect community needs and aspirations through input at every stage of engagement and aspire to drive an output that is as ‘authentically Fraserburgh’ as possible. Notable projects within the masterplan include a new multipurpose building, expanded and inclusive play area, improved and extended promenade, beach wheelchairs and new beach accessibility ramps, safer crossing opportunities, and a variety of creative seating options.

The final report comprises a masterplan and supporting illustrations that include 20 different project elements,  with a focus on delivery and identification of a range of known funding sources for future application. The masterplan has now been published and endorsed by the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, available via a link to the project webpage. The webpage also hosts all other critical documents and presentations for viewing.

With the completion of this masterplan visioning stage, delivery is now in the hands of Aberdeenshire Council, local organisations and the wider community. The year-long collaborative co-design process, and enthusiastic manner in which residents and stakeholders gasped the opportunity to input and develop ideas, means there is renewed optimism that Fraserburgh can continue to thrive with a new-look beach area at its heart, helping to meet the needs of local people, businesses and visitors.

Further information on KMA’s work and their codesign process is available here