Community Action Plan gets back on track

The Community Action Plan launch event that had to be cancelled in December due to covid restrictions is now firmly back on the schedule for Saturday 26 March. Join the team for tea and cakes between 2pm and 4pm in the Airlie Street Hall to find out more about what the Plan proposes, and especially to see how you could get involved and turn it into reality! There’s lots of detail and ideas to explore on the new dedicated CAP website at https://alyth.online/cap/

Save the date in your diaries now, and we look forward to seeing you on 26 March!

Community Project Fund reopens for new applications

Our Community Projects Fund is open for applications again! Visit http://lovealyth.org.uk/…/alyth-community-projects-fund/ for more information and the online application form (you can also download and print out a paper form if you prefer). The CPF distributes community benefit funds from Temporis Ltd, who operate the Tullymurdoch Windfarm northwest of Alyth. We allocate some of the money for strategic investments in the town, and some to community projects proposed by groups in the town. Up to £2000 per project is available, and you can now apply throughout the year. An independent panel will judge applications in April, July, October and January each year, so have a look at the CPF page and get your application in soon! There’s also info on previous projects that the CPF has funded.

Work starts on new Jubilee Park multi-user path

Martin Devaney (left) and Steven Boath marking the start of work on the Jubilee Park path

Contractors have moved onto the Jubilee Park this week to start building the new multi-user path around the perimeter. Steven Boath and Martin Devaney of the Jubilee Park Working Group were on hand to get the works under way, anticipating a smooth construction process over the next four weeks, weather permitting.

The Group have commissioned local company SHH Construction to build the 665-metre-long all-weather path suitable for use by walkers, runners, wheelchair-users, cyclists and people with buggies and prams. At present, there are no paths in the Park, making it difficult for many people to enjoy the open space. During the works, the park will remain open to the public with only those areas cordoned off that are being worked on as the path progresses.

The start of work marks the culmination of a year of consultation, discussion and planning for the Group. Almost 200 people responded to a consultation during the Spring and Summer last year, which produced a resounding ‘Yes’ for a new path and possibly other improvements in the future. The Working Group see the path as the first major project to launch under the umbrella of the Alyth Community Action Plan, a five-year initiative bringing together community groups, businesses and the people of Alyth to work together on making the town a better place to live and work. The Jubilee Park path will link together a number of existing walking routes in and around the town, encouraging and enabling more people to enjoy outdoors exercise.

The Working Group have secured funding for the £60,000 project from SSEN Transmission, the Drumderg Windfarm Community Fund, Glenisla Developments Ltd, and Alyth Development Trust.

ADT helps Alyth football club instal vital defibrillator

Left-right: Grant Train (Alyth Community Council), Jenni Milne and Karen Hodge (AAFC), Lynn Murray (Scotmid), David Whipps (ADT).

Alyth Amateurs Football Club have installed a defibrillator at their Jubilee Park home, with help from ADT’s Community Projects Fund (CPF).

The Club had raised more than half of a planned £3,000 needed to buy, install and maintain the life-saving machine, and the independent panel that adjudicates applications to the CPF was happy to award £1,500 to make up the difference.  The Club has also received funding for the project from Alyth Community Council, Scotmid, Thrifty One and many individuals within the community.

The defibrillator, similar to one installed in the Market Square by ADT in 2018, is available for use by football teams and anyone else using the Park who needs it.  A defibrillator was used recently to save the life of a young rugby player within another local sports club, amply demonstrating the value of this kit.

As well as helping pay for the machine itself, plus installation, running costs, spare batteries, pads, masks and gloves, the money also enabled the Club to buy new first-aid bags to have on the sideline for use when needed.

With work starting soon on the community project to build a new path around the Jubilee Park, there will likely be more and more people visiting and enjoying the facilities, making the defibrillator even more valuable to have on hand should it be required.

Jenni Milne of Alyth AFC said:  “As a club we would like to thank everyone so much for their generosity in helping Alyth AFC raise money to place a life-saving defibrillator in the Diamond Jubilee Park for our community.  The defibrillator is now in place and registered. This is a life-saving piece of equipment and accessible to everyone.

She added: “Thank-you to the Community of Alyth and beyond, supporters and friends of Alyth AFC, Alyth Development Trust, Scotmid, Alyth Community Council, Thrifty One and everyone else who made this possible.  A special thank-you to John Wheatley and Matthew Mollison for fitting the cabinet and A&E Training in Comrie for supplying the defibrillator.  We are very proud to be a part of Alyth’s wonderful community.”

ADT helps secure funding for Food for Thought

Food for Thought staff outside the hub on Airlie Street

ADT has helped secure more funding to support the fantastic work of Food for Thought in tackling hardship in Alyth.  The project is getting £4,000 from the National Lottery Communities Recovery Fund to help reduce the need for food assistance in Alyth.

Food for Thought has seen a significant increase in demand for its services during the pandemic, and expects this to continue and become more severe when energy prices rise in the spring.

The new money is part of an overall grant of more than £29,000 awarded to a partnership involving ADT along with Blairgowrie & Rattray Development Trust (the lead organisation), Mount Blair Development Trust and Proactive Communities Blairgowrie & Rattray.

As well as providing the funding for Food for Thought and similar projects in the other areas, the partnership will invest in developing new initiatives and joint project work on food poverty, food waste and rural isolation.  The four bodies are aiming by next month to identify priorities from the local Action Plans for each area.  This will lead to joint action plans to share skills and experience so as to work together more efficiently and effectively on existing projects and on new ideas for collaboration.

Flood management survey starts at last

2015 flood in Alyth
The 2015 floods in Alyth

Perth & Kinross Council has responded to pressure from Alyth Development Trust and appointed consultants to do a detailed study of natural flood management in the burns and waterways around Alyth.

AECOM, one of the world’s leading infrastructure consultancies, will spend the next year surveying the Alyth Burn, the Johnshill Burn and the Doctor’s Burn (along St Ninian’s Road).  We all know the big picture of how flooding from these waterways can affect Alyth, but the engineers will be looking at the detail to fully understand how floodwaters build up and move through (or not!) the town.

They will also be assessing the feasibility of different ways in which the flood risk could be managed, looking firstly at natural methods of flood management but also exploring other options.

The Council say they “will engage with the community at suitable points throughout the project”, and that they will shortly be issuing a community questionnaire to allow residents and businesses to record their experiences of flooding.

Alyth’s vulnerability to severe flooding was graphically demonstrated in the devastating flood of 2015, and in several similar though less severe flooding incidents since then.  The town was designated an area of serious concern in the Tay Local Flood Risk Management Plan in 2016, which included a recommendation to do a natural flood management study in 2020-21.  When nothing had been done by last autumn, ADT and the Alyth Community Support Group wrote to the Council in October to express their concerns and call for urgent action

AECOM are scheduled to produce their report in spring 2023, although this may change as the project develops.

Useful links

How to contact the Council’s Flooding Team: Flood@pkc.gov.uk

PKC Flooding Website: www.pkc.gov.uk/flooding

Flooding Advice and Support: www.pkc.gov.uk/article/14719/Flooding-advice-and-support

Flooding Duties and responsibilities: www.pkc.gov.uk/article/14718/Flooding-duties-and-responsibilities

Flood Warnings: www.pkc.gov.uk/article/14717/Flood-warnings

Flood Protection Products: www.pkc.gov.uk/plp

Flood Risk Management Plans: www.pkc.gov.uk/frmplans

Developer Guidance on Flooding and Drainage: www.pkc.gov.uk/ldp2floodrisk

SEPA: www.sepa.org.uk/environment/water/flooding/

Scottish Water: www.scottishwater.co.uk/Your-Home/Your-Waste-Water

New uses for old sawmill?  ADT funding win promises answers

Aerial view of the site, with Parish Church at lower left and Alyth Burn running up the right-hand side.

New uses for one of Alyth’s most significant unused sites are to be explored in a major study by Alyth Development Trust.

The project directly addresses priorities set by the people of Alyth in reply to the major consultation carried out last year for the town’s Community Action Plan. 

The Trust has secured £21,340 from the Scottish Government through its Rural Communities Ideas Into Action Fund, to investigate the possibility of buying and redeveloping the former sawmill site at Millhaugh on the Bamff Road.

The former mill site comprises several old stone mill buildings, storage sheds and residential units along the banks of the Alyth Burn where it enters the town centre.  The buildings are semi-derelict and secured by fencing and signage due to their fragile nature.  The site forms the natural entrance to the Den of Alyth woodland – a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Alyth Development Trust believes the Millhaugh site offers tremendous potential for a whole range of community-based developments, activities and opportunities that directly respond to the findings of Alyth’s Community Action Plan.

Russell Willis Taylor of the Trust said:  “Millhaugh offers fantastic potential for all sorts of new community developments.  For example, The Den of Alyth is an extremely valuable and well-loved asset for the town, but the current entrance is located several hundred yards upstream from Millhaugh, along a relatively busy public road with only narrow pavements.  A new entrance to the Den through the former sawmill site would give much more direct access from the town and be safer, especially for people with wheelchairs and buggies.   

“As well as better access to the Den, Millhaugh also has the potential to offer a wide range of multi-use indoor and outdoor spaces that could be a focal point for a huge variety of educational, environmental, social, business and tourism related activities.  There are many ideas for how the site can be developed and used and these need to be fully scoped for feasibility – which is what this new study is for.

“It is important that any vision for the site is not pre-determined.  The funding from the Ideas Into Action Fund will enable us to commission a full topographical survey of the site and then commission a professional consultant to explore all the potential opportunities for development, use and community ownership of the site.”

The Millhaugh site has been an issue and source of concern for Alyth for many years.  It has been highlighted, along with other derelict sites, in several reports and surveys over the past few years, both for the ‘ruinous’ state of its buildings as well as its development potential.

Ms Taylor added:  “The new Community Action Plan that we developed through a massive consultation last year, and which is now being implemented, restated these historic concerns and clearly expressed the people of Alyth’s desire for projects that will actively develop and support the health and of our community and our environment.

“Among many other aspirations, they told us they wanted to bring derelict land and buildings back into use, to create and enhance walking and cycling routes through and around the town, and to make better use of Alyth’s heritage for community benefit.  Re-imagining the Millhaugh site and its buildings gives us the opportunity to embark on a major project that will help to fulfil those desires.”

Notes

1.  This project is supported by the Rural Communities Ideas into Action fund (#RCIAfund), supported by the Scottish Government and delivered by Inspiring Scotland to encourage and support innovative approaches to community-led local development in rural communities across Scotland.

2.  The Millhaugh site was highlighted in a Planning Aid Scotland report in 2012 and again in the Alyth 2020 Community Survey, as well as last year’s Community Action Plan consultation.