With a growing population of 14,695, Fraserburgh strategically positioned on the Moray Coast, has a vibrant fishing and agricultural hinterland. Within a 45 minute travel to work radius, Fraserburgh draws an additional population of around 117,069 (excludes Aberdeen city). The primary and secondary school roll projections in the Fraserburgh area are stable going into 2014, which bodes well for providing a continued labour force for industry in the area. The secondary school roll is expected to be above 1000 in 2014, with a total capacity of 1440.
In recent years the fishing fleet has experienced considerable restructuring with a reduction in boats as a consequence of EU policy. Fraserburgh still retains its prominence though, specifically as the main landing port for nephrops in Europe. This reduction in port traffic produces an opportunity for increased commercial trade, which the Harbour Commissioners are determined to capture and have therefore been making continual investment in the asset.
The current unemployment claimant rate for the Fraserburgh ward is 2.1%, higher than the Aberdeenshire wide rate of 1.2% which indicates flexibility in the labour market for inward investment. There is also around 11% of the population who travel outwith Fraserburgh, many to Aberdeen where higher paid job opportunities exist, who could obviously be enticed to work locally. The indigenous business base in Fraserburgh and surrounding towns hugely values the work ethic which exists locally. There is also a strong current of flexibility and innovation which comes of knowing and understanding the harsh marine environment.
The trunk road network to Fraserburgh is approximately 40 minutes by car to Aberdeen. With the Western Peripheral Route now confirmed, travel times will also be shortened to southern Aberdeenshire and the central belt. The nearest airport is at Dyce, Aberdeen, approximately 40 miles with Inverness approximately 95 miles. The nearest heliport is at Dyce, 45 minutes south of Fraseburgh. Dyce is one of the worlds’ busiest commercial heliports with more than 400,000 helicopter passengers per year. There have been additional discussions in relation to developing a helipad on the North East Scotland College estate in Fraserburgh which may be a future resource for the offshore sector and search and rescue facilities. Currently the links area and the grounds of Fraserburgh Academy are used for emergency landings.
Emergency services are well represented in the area. The full time lifeboat based at Fraserburgh Harbour employs a full time Coxswain and mechanic. There is a local Coastguard depot in Fraserburgh which can respond to emergencies with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre located at Marine House, Aberdeen.
Fraserburgh Hospital also has an accident and emergency facility and an ambulance service.