Peterhead BID launches first major project

A group aiming to rejuvenate a north-east high street will soon launch their first major project - tackling pesky gulls.

The Rediscover Peterhead business improvement district (BID) was approved by local shopkeepers last year.

More than 200 businesses now pay into a levy to have projects which aim to draw people back into their shops funded.

And in May, a portion of that cash will now be spent on clearing away gull nests and eggs from the town centre.

It is the first large-scale project the Peterhead BID has taken on after delivering miniature Christmas trees to businesses over winter.

But in order for it to progress, it needs permission from shop owners to allow removal teams access to their roofs.

In a letter sent out to shops, BID manager and local councillor Iain Sutherland said the effort would make the town centre safer and cleaner.

He said: “Over the last few years, gulls have become a serious issue in Peterhead town centre, with evidence suggesting that fear of attack by birds was deterring shoppers from visiting local shops, particularly during the height of summer when a large number of young birds were fighting over food.

“The effect on businesses was very damaging.

“The first visit will take place at the beginning of May, and will take place over two consecutive Sundays, to minimise disruption to businesses.

“There will be three further visits; each three weeks apart, which will deter gulls which attempt to rebuild. The timing of the visits will ensure that any eggs laid do not reach the point where they are ready to hatch.

“We are sure that this project will result in a safer and cleaner town centre which will be more welcoming for our customers.”

Mr Sutherland took on the BID job in March, following the resignation of Ken Duncan.

Critics of the scheme have suggested the BID will fund projects Aberdeenshire Council should be providing itself.

Rediscover Peterhead chairman John Pascoe, however, told levy payers last month that the group’s efforts would go over and beyond what the council could offer.

Two previous council-led crackdowns on gulls in Peterhead between April and July 2016 and again last year saw a total of 327 nests and 685 eggs removed.

 

The Press & Journal
23rd April 2018