Fraserburgh Town Centre Heritage Regeneration Scheme

8 September 2014 | blog, designing streets, place making, small towns, town centres, waterfronts, working with communities, working with heritage

Fraserburgh Town Centre Heritage Regeneration Scheme

Fraserburgh is at Kinnaird Head in the far north-east corner of Aberdeenshire. Alexander Fraser’s 1570s new town (‘Broch’) is highly significant as the earliest planned town in Scotland and the layout survives today. It has a rich maritime heritage and a fine historic buildings stock, but the town centre is significantly run down, with socio-economic challenges and decaying historic fabric leading Aberdeenshire Council to prioritise regeneration in Fraserburgh. There is widespread local acknowledgement that a town centre conservation area will accelerate regeneration.

The vision is to ‘transform the image and quality of the historic core of Fraserburgh by investing in the unique built and cultural heritage’. This will be achieved through four strategic themes in this work reflecting the latest thinking from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Review and Action Plan:

  • investing in the built heritage
  • boosting town centre business
  • providing effective interpretation and training
  • reinforcing identity through placemaking

Residents, businesses, schools and training providers will be closely involved in this heritage regeneration, making Fraserburgh a better place to live, work or visit. Our role in this study was to develop proposals for Theme 4

Theme 4: Identity and Placemaking


  • Shared space: The intention is to break down divisions between exclusively pedestrian spaces and vehicle space, to create a better environment containing the benefits of both types of space. There would still be access for vehicles, but their domination of spaces should be lessened.
  • Appropriate materials: authentic materials for public realm improvement are essential and so stone paving and setts offer the best option.
  • Public realm proposals involving the Retail and Civic Core – Saltoun Square, Broad Street and High Street – improvement of the pedestrian
    environment of major civic spaces through the introduction of shared surfaces, wider footways, rebalancing the relationship between vehicles and pedestrians. Changes to lighting or infrastructure required for events
  • High-Priority Buildings
  • Shared surfaces, wider footways, better quality materials around key buildings, street trees and pedestrian infrastructure such as benches, shelters and cycle racks.
  • Hubs, Focal Points and Social Spaces – Smaller spaces can contribute to the general feel of the town centre and positive interventions can create opportunities for stopping to chat or sitting down. Shared surfaces, wider footways, better quality materials around hubs; street trees and pedestrian infrastructure such as benches, shelters and cycle racks.
  • Movement Network – Tackling parts of the movement network where pedestrians are inconvenienced by vehicle infrastructure and inappropriate roads standards could be a key project for positive change in eg alterations to junctions through shared surfaces or altering junction radii and footway widths.
  • Strategic Linkages – The pedestrian routes around the coast have potential for high impact on the town centre and attention should be given to footpaths and more strategic linkages.
  • Green Infrastructure – Explore green interventions– trees in gardens, trees-at-work schemes, planted sitting areas and play areas.

The study was commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council and led by Alan Marshall Architects with WMUD and Douglas Wheeler Associates.

Update: 15 February 2015
The HLF submission for Fraserburgh based on the recommendations of our report was successful and for Fraserburgh was among 50 communities across Scotland targeted by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s £54.4m Townscape Heritage programme.

Fraserburgh photogallery:

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