AN action plan has been drafted describing how a partnership between companies, workers and residents could profit Westhill.

Proposals include doing more to promote local facilities, exploring setting up a Business Improvement District, and tackling problems like transport together.

The thinking has been outlined by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) following a major survey of residents and employees.

The report said: “It is clear that the outlook for Westhill is a positive one but there are identified gaps and room for improvement.

“We have therefore set out the suggested improvements as a result of the research.”

Nearly seven out of 10 employees (69%) felt it was important that businesses “gave something back to the community”.

According to the survey, they favoured supporting charities, schools, local groups, facilities and local activities/events.

Frustration over transport was common to workers as well as residents, with congestion and a perceived lack of communication over plans top concerns.

The report said: “Various business employees were dissatisfied with new infrastructure and road changes such as speed level adjustments.

“Many were unaware that these changes were taking place and were therefore unable to submit an objection against proposals.

“It would therefore benefit business employees to have a method of receiving these updates so that they would not have to constantly seek out this information.”

And the survey noted “an appetite” across the community for masterplanning.

The report said: “This plan should address the concerns of both residents and businesses that Westhill does not have a ‘heart’.”

More than half of employees (60%) liked the idea of a Business Improvement District – typically created when companies pay a levy for local improvements like environmental enhancements, including signage.

AGCC noted “minimal contact between community members and businesses and also a lack of integration between employees from different companies” and said open networking events could redress this.

The report also found employees “were unaware of the full range of facilities Westhill had to offer and thought this information could be advertised better to them”.

The chamber said voucher books offering discounts could act as a promotional tool for local facilities.

Full details: Westhill Business Network survey report final