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.

What’s next for the CAP – events upcoming

Unfortunately, the Community Action Plan (CAP) launch event scheduled for 18 December had to be cancelled due to the stricter pandemic rules.  Undaunted by this temporary setback, the CAP Steering Group is delighted to announce that it’s all systems go again to get the CAP up and running, with an online event planned for 18 February and an in-person event on 26 March in the Airlie Street Hall.  Look out for more details of these over the coming weeks.

Over the past 10 months, Alyth residents really came forward to be heard and we had an inspiring response to our Community Action Planning surveys and activities.  The events coming up in February and March are being designed to give the whole community the chance to learn more about what came out of those surveys and activities, and to get involved in turning the many wonderful ideas into reality.

In the previous post, below, you will find the poster that summarises all the great ideas and suggestions that you put forward.  Scan the QR code on the poster with your phone or search alyth.online in your browser to find out more on our new website.  You can get in touch by emailing cap@alyth.online and let us know which of the proposed projects interests you.  And keep an eye out for the posters that tell the story of our action plan as they go up around the town.

All about the CAP

There’s a new website summarising the main points of Alyth’s Community Action Plan for the next five years. It’s a five-year roadmap for for making Alyth a better place to live, work and visit, and lists the projects which the community would like to see happen.

The CAP is all about our town’s collective vision, bringing together community groups, businesses and the people of Alyth to work together making it an even better place to live.  During 2021, the whole community contributed to the biggest consultation exercise in Alyth’s history, contributing their ideas and aspirations for the future.

Click here to see the results of the consultation and the exciting new plans that are evolving as a result.  Get involved in the ongoing conversation and planning and help create the Alyth of tomorrow! And download the beautiful full-size poster from the link below.

Work starts on major improvement for Alyth’s Jubilee Park

Contractors will start work early next month on a new multi-user path encircling the Diamond Jubilee Park in Alyth.

Local company SHH Construction Ltd are scheduled to move on site in early February to begin building the 665-metre-long path around the perimeter of the Park.  

SHH has been commissioned by the Jubilee Park Working Group to build an all-weather path suitable for multi-purpose 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 four-week building programme, the park will remain open to the public throughout, 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 this 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 Group has secured funding for the £60,000 project from SSEN Transmission, the Drumderg Windfarm Community Fund, Glenisla Developments Ltd, and Alyth Development Trust.  SSEN Transmission are currently building the new electricity sub-station southeast of Alyth;  the Drumderg Windfarm, northwest of Alyth, is operated by SSEN Renewables;  Glenisla Developments are currently building the Pitcrocknie residential and care home development on the eastern edge of Alyth.

January board minutes now online

The minutes of our board of directors’ meeting on 10 January are now available to read here. See what we’re currently up to, and if you’d like to join our next board meeting on 7 February, drop us a line and we’ll send you the Zoom login details.

This month’s minutes include a presentation on recent developments in the Cateran Ecomuseum.

Work to begin on new path around Jubilee Park

An Alyth community project has secured enough funding to start work on a major upgrade of the town’s main public open space, opening it up to wheelchair users and buggies.

The Jubilee Park Working Group has spent the past year developing plans for a new all-weather path around Alyth’s Diamond Jubilee Park, and now has enough finance and in-kind support in place to enable building work to start early in the New Year.

The Group is planning a path designed for multi-purpose 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.

The project will cost just under £60,000, funded by a major grant of £33,600 from SSEN Transmission, £9,500 from the Drumderg Windfarm Community Fund, £5,750 from Glenisla Developments, and just under £10,000 from Alyth Development Trust.

The Working Group is commissioning a local construction firm to build the one-kilometre asphalt path around Jubilee Park, and work is expected to take around three weeks.

The start of work will mark 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 this year, which produced a resounding ‘Yes’ for a new path and possibly other improvements in the future.

There were responses from all age groups, from under-10s to over-65s.  Eight out of 10 people said they visit the Park at least one or more times per month, most of them one or more times per week.  Most people listed walking, particularly dog-walking, as their main activity, and many also said they met friends, took part in organised activities, sports and games, or took their children and grandchildren for fresh air and exercise.

Well over three-quarters of the respondents strongly welcomed the idea of a new path, saying it would encourage them to visit more often in wet weather, or to take buggies and wheelchairs there, and that they would likely visit more often.  Lots of people called for more play facilities for children, more seating, toilets and dog-waste bins among other things. 

Armed with the positive consultation response, the Working Group were able to secure approval for the plan from Perth & Kinross Council, who manage the Park on behalf of the community.

Local businessman Steven Boath, chair of the Working Group, said:  “It’s absolutely fantastic to have been able to secure this funding for a community project that will mean so much to so many on Alyth.

“As well as creating a safe and user-friendly path around Jubilee Park for wheelchair users and those with buggies or prams, we will also be creating a connecting hub for footpaths leading out through the rest of the town.  In particular, this will be an important part of the links between the the centre of Alyth and the new developments at Pitcrocknie Village.

“The consultation also produced lots of interesting ideas for other potential developments in and around the Park, which are now being fed into the Community Action Plan being developed for Alyth by a consortium of local groups.  We hope that the building of the path will herald an exciting new chapter of community action in Alyth.”

NOTES:

• The Diamond Jubilee Park, containing a recreation ground and children’s play park, was gifted to the people of Alyth by the then Earl of Airlie to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It includes a football pitch which is home to Alyth Amateur Football Club. The park is managed by Perth & Kinross Council.

• SSEN Transmission are currently building the new electricity sub-station southeast of Alyth.

• The Drumderg Windfarm, northwest of Alyth, is operated by SSEN Renewables.

• Glenisla Developments are currently building the Pitcrocknie residential and care home development on the eastern edge of Alyth.