Accessible Aden project gets underway thanks to Rural Tourism Infrastructure funding
Work has started at Aden Country Park, following Aberdeenshire Council’s successful £375,000 funding application to the VisitScotland Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF).
In response to community consultation and increased visitor numbers, the Accessible Aden Project focuseson improvements which both enhance and improve the quality and accessibility of the park’stoilet and parking provisions.
The Aden project -which is due to be completed in July -will also see the introduction of bicycle stands and eightnew electric vehicle charging pointsaimed at promotingand encouraginglow-carbon sustainable transport options.
Managed by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the RTIF was created to improve the quality of the visitor experience in rural parts of Scotland whichhave faced pressure due to increasedvisitor numbers.
It aims to reduce the impact of visitor numbers on local communities and facilities and create a more collaborative and sustainable approach to infrastructure provision and long-term maintenanceof local facilities for the benefit of communities.
Pressure on Aden’s existing facilitieshas been mounting overthe last few yearswhich wasexacerbated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. With visitor numbers increasing rapidly, the existing park and toilet facilities are now showing the strain ofadditional use.
Aden Country Park is a haven for individuals and families to socially-distance themselves, a place for play or exercise, a venue for respite, or simply a resource which allows people to easily engage with heritage, natureand wildlife.
Consultation with visitors and the wider Buchan community helped identify that the toilet and parking facilities do not match visitor expectations and there is aneedfor improvement. Further engagementwith a local parent and careers accessibility group also helped to inform the need for fully accessible Changing Places toilet provisionsalong with improved disabled parking.
For more information on RTIF, please visit https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/funding/rural-tourism-infrastructure-fund