A restaurant and visitor centre opening this spring is set to create up to 20 jobs in the Aberdeenshire area.
Formartine’s, which is located near Tarves, is a joint partnership between John Cooper, who owns The Smokehouse in Methlick, and Lord and Lady Aberdeen, proprietors of Haddo Estate. The centre, opening in April, will create a range of employment opportunities throughout the year.
Though Scotland has the lowest unemployment rate in the UK, competing for non-agricultural jobs in rural areas can be a challenge. Rural Scotland accounts for 94 per cent of the country’s landmass, and is home to nearly a fifth of the population. Despite unemployment rates being even lower in rural Scotland than the rest of the country, employees looking for work outside of the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors typically need to travel.
According to Scottish Government figures, more than half of workers living in accessible rural areas commute for work. It has also been claimed that facilities such as shops in rural areas have been on the decline in recent years, as retail businesses seem to favour more populated areas. This has led to a decrease in retail employment opportunities, which forces rural residents to commute further for work in their chosen field.
Mr Cooper said: "Formartine’s is all about supporting the local community, from the suppliers in our restaurant to the building materials of the centre itself. We hope to not only help the local economy with this project, but also the local residents by opening up new employment opportunities."