Millhaugh development

  • Project: Transform a derelict industrial site into a major community asset and gateway to the Den O’Alyth;
  • Funding: £170,000 so far for site acquisition and clearance works;
  • Current status: Site acquisition completed in Summer 2023;
  • Volunteer programming committee to be convened in November 2023 to begin planning for site development;
  • Current works: Site clearance started November 2023, to include:
    • Asbestos removal works – Disturbed asbestos dust and fibres are highly hazardous; 
    • Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) Removal – Deep excavations required which will be prone to flooding, plus removal of petrochemical impacted soils which are hazardous and toxic to humans; 
    • Demolition of dangerous structures – Hazards during demolition are falls, being struck, or buried in falling material or by the unintentional collapse of the structure;  
  • Public access to the site is not permitted during the work, which is estimated will take about four months (until March 2024);
  • Get involved: Join the volunteer group to decide how best to use the site for gatherings, events and educational programming
  • Contact:
Derelict corn mill and sawmill buildings on the Millhaugh site

ADT is working on ambitious plans for the unused former sawmill at Millhaugh on Bamff Road, aiming to transform it into a major community asset and gateway to the Den O’Alyth.  The plans received a massive boost in early 2023 with grants of nearly £94,000 from the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme, plus almost £77,000 from the Scottish Land Fund.  The funding is enabling ADT to acquire and begin redeveloping the site for a range of educational, environmental, social, and tourism-related activities on behalf of the local community.

The site, close to the heart of Alyth, currently contains several derelict mill, shed, storage and abandoned residential structures and forms the natural entrance to the Den of Alyth woodland and riverside walk areas, which are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.  The Millhaugh regeneration project responds directly to the findings of Alyth’s Community Action Plan (CAP) developed in 2022 following a very extensive community consultation that engaged hundreds of individuals and groups throughout the community and generated six main themes for action over the next few years.

The CAP consultations identified the Millhaugh site as one where community ownership and re-development would make a massive contribution to all the CAP themes:  repurposing derelict sites, developing new community and recreational spaces, promoting new events and activities, enhancing biodiversity and protecting habitats, and supporting tourism in the area.

Once a significant employer in the town since the 19th century with a cornmill and later a sawmill, Millhaugh has been vacant and unused since the 1980s, becoming increasingly derelict and attracting some vandalism and anti-social behaviour.  The current owners are enthusiastic about seeing the site move into community ownership and become a public space that will benefit the whole town and create a new natural entrance to the Den of Alyth.

ADT has now acquired the site to hold in stewardship for the community. Site clearance is now underway to remove contamination and debris, refurbishing existing buildings where possible, demolish unsafe structures and tidy up the site generally.  Existing buildings and non-toxic materials already on the site will be re-used and recycled as far as possible. At the same time, the call has gone out for volunteers to join a programming committee to determine how we make the space available to all within the town for gatherings, events and educational programming.