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Peterhead ( ) is a town in Aberdeenshiremarker, Scotlandmarker. It is Aberdeenshire's largest settlement, having a population of 17,947 at the 2001 Census and estimated to have fallen to 17,330 by 2006. Peterhead sits at the easternmost point in mainland Scotland. Peterhead is often referred to as 'The Blue Toon' and people who were born there as Blue Tooners. More correctly they are called Bloomogganners, supposedly from the blue worsted stockings that the fishermen originally wore.


Peterhead was founded by fishermen and was developed as a planned settlement. In 1593 the construction of Peterhead's first harbour, Port Henry, encouraged the growth of Peterhead as a fishing port and established a base for trade. A lifeboat station was first established in 1865. Since early times Peterhead has received a portion of its water supply from Morris Wellsmarker.Peterhead convict prisonmarker was opened in 1888, gaining a reputation as one of Scotland's toughest prisons. A new phase of growth was initiated in the 1970s with Peterhead becoming a major oil industry service centre, and the completion of the nearby St Fergus gas terminal. At this time, considerable land holdings were allocated for industrial development.

In recent times, the town has suffered from several high profile company closures and is facing a number of pressures, including Common Fisheries Policy reforms. However, it retains a relatively diverse economy, including food processing, textiles, service industries and, still importantly, fishing. (Over 90,000 tonnes of fish, with a value of around £60m are now landed at Peterhead, which is still also base to over 550 fishermen.) Peterhead Bay Authority plan to extend the northern breakwater as a stimulus to the town's economic development. In addition, to assist with business diversification and town centre environmental improvements, the 'Peterhead Project' initiative under the Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership brings together the Council, Scottish Enterprise Grampian, Communities Scotland, commerce and community representatives.

Until April 2005, the Royal Air Force station RAF Buchanmarker was located near the town.


Peterhead Academy

Peterhead Academy houses around 1,400 pupils and the school is split up into 7 houses (Arbuthnot, Buchan, Craigewan, Grange, Marischal, Ravenscraig, Slains), with all the names associated with areas of the town. The school has pupils coming from surrounding villages such as Boddam, Cruden Bay, Hatton, Inverugie, Rora, St Fergus and Crimond. The Academy's moto is "Domus Super Petram Aedificata" (A House Built on a Rock).

Primary schools

Peterhead has seven primary schools (Clerkhill, Buchanhaven, Meethill, Dales Park, Central, Burnhaven, Anna Ritchie).


Peterhead has a number of in-town and out-of-town bus services.

Peterhead once had two railway stations Peterhead railway stationmarker and Peterhead Docks railway stationmarker, but both are now closed.

Blueprint for Growth

In 2008, a Blueprint for Growth was unveiled - the plan to extend the town beyond its bypass. The plan involved 4500 homes, 4 new primary schools, a new secondary school and a new hospital to be built within the next 20-25 years - hoping to bring 9000 people to the town.


Company/Organisation Activity
  • Woodgroup Pressure Control
  • Score Europe & Score Energy, Engineering
  • Scottish Prison Service (HM Peterhead Prison), Prison Services
  • ASCO Plc, Oil Services
  • Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd, Oil Company
  • ASDA (Walmart), Retailing
  • Morrisons Supermarket Plc, Retailing
  • Smiths of Peterhead Ltd, Woollen Manufacturing is now demolished to make way for more stores
  • Fresh Catch Ltd, Fish Processing
  • Forman Fish Ltd, Fish Processing
  • Taylor Crane Company Ltd, Crane Hire
  • Waterside Inn (Swallow Hotels), Hotel Services
  • Macrae Foods Ltd, Fish Processing
  • Barchester Healthcare Ltd (Kirkburn Court Nursing Home), Nursing Home Services
  • Community Media Ltd, Printing and Publishing
  • Strachans Ltd, Grocery Wholesale
  • Ken Cassells Ltd, Fish Processing
  • The Palace Hotel (Peterhead) Ltd, Hotel Services
  • Alexander Buchan Ltd, Fish Processing
  • Dales Engineering Ltd, Steel Fabrication
  • Precision Powertrain (UK) Ltd, Transmission Manufacturing
  • Stagecoach Bluebird, Bus Services
  • Department of Social Security, Government Benefits Office
  • Aberdeenshire Council, Local Government Services
  • Grampian Primary Care NHS Trust, Health Services
  • Peterhead Box Company Ltd, Box Factory
  • Natural Skincare Factory, Healthcare Products

Definition based on more than 70 employees.Source: Various

Buchan Gateway Retail ParkCurrently has B&q and McDonalds, plans to build another 8 units

Peterhead Retail ParkAldi has demolished the old woolen mill and plans are to build an Aldi and 5 other units

ASDAThis is due to be demolished and to be replaced with a shop almost twice the current size at 57,000 sq ft.


View of Peterhead bay, looking towards the breakwaters
Merchant Street with the Harbour in the background

The harbours, maritime and built heritage are the town's principal tourism assets. Recent initiatives include investments in the Peterhead Bay area, which have included the berthing of cruise ships in the harbour. A number of projects are planned under the auspices of the Peterhead Project initiative, including tourism strategy development, enhancement of existing attractions, measures to improve the town's physical attractiveness, and improved marketing and promotion.


Peterhead F.C. are a Scottish Football League side who currently play in the Second Division.

Twin town


  1. Scotland's Census Results Online, 2001 Comparative Population Profile: Peterhead Locality Scotland, accessed 12 October 2009
  2. Brief History of Peterhead Lifeboat Station, accessed July 15th, 2008
  3. C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Catto Long Barrow fieldnotes, The Modern Antiquarian

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