ADT’s plans for the unused former sawmill at Millhaugh on Bamff Road have received a massive boost with a grant of nearly £94,000 from the Scottish Government.
The grant, from the Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme, will cover half the cost of the first phase of ADT’s project to acquire and redevelop the site for a range of educational, environmental, social, and tourism-related activities on behalf of the local community. ADT hopes to hear about bids to cover the rest of the cost from other funding sources within the next few weeks.
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 last year’s Community Action Plan (CAP) for Alyth. The CAP was developed through 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.
Once all the funding is in place, ADT will acquire the site and begin refurbishing existing buildings where possible, demolishing unsafe structures and tidying up the site generally. At the same time, there will be a wide-ranging public consultation to guide decisions on what sort of activities the redeveloped site could best be used for. Existing buildings and materials already on the site will be re-used and recycled as far as possible.