Massive moment for Millhaugh!

A major grant from the Scottish Land Fund means that Alyth Development Trust’s project to create a brand new community asset at Millhaugh in Alyth looks like becoming reality.

The grant of £76,744 will be added to funding of nearly £94,000 already secured from the Scottish Government, allowing ADT to acquire the site and begin refurbishing existing buildings where possible, demolishing unsafe structures and tidying up the site generally.

Once this first phase is complete, ADT plans to redevelop Millhaugh for a range of educational, environmental, social, and tourism-related activities.  This will be guided by a wide-ranging public consultation and the formation of a community steering group to decide what sort of activities the redeveloped site could best be used for.

Aerial view of the Millhaugh site

Millhaugh, 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.

View of the derelict sawmill today (courtesy of Richard Wilkins/Blairgowrie Advertiser);

CPF grant helps second Strathmore Open Studios take flight

We’re excited to be supporting the second Strathmore Open Studios event coming up in May with a grant of £2000 from our Community Projects Fund.  This year’s event looks likely to involve more than 40 artists and craftspeople exhibiting their creations up and down Strathmore and especially in Alyth.  

This means Strathmore Open Studios 2023 will be even bigger than last year’s inaugural event in August which attracted huge numbers of visitors to see displays of work from 35 artists and creative people across 14 studios in and around Alyth.

There’s already a Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/898880744891009/ – soon to be joined by a dedicated website and, hopefully, an Instagram page.  We will of course be helping to promote more news about Strathmore Open Studios as the event draws nearer.  See the story in this month’s Alyth Voice for more details.

Community Action Plan (CAP) bears fruit — and veg!

Following on from the very successful community action planning last year, we are supporting a group of volunteers to help start an allotments for all project for our town.  Over the past year we have successfully raised funds to support this project from funders who are only interested in allotments, and are now looking to sign up town residents who would like to be involved in this exciting work – either to reserve a plot or be a volunteer — or both.  We know that growing our own food is good for physical and mental health, and that a well-designed set of allotments would be an asset for the entire town, and supported by the results of our CAP.

The group has looked at a number of sites around the town and are now in discussion with Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) about a small corner of the Market Muir, a piece of land held in trust for all of us.  PKC are very supportive thus far and is working with the group to explore drainage and soil issues now.  As the group hopes to follow a “no-dig” approach to growing, the allotments will have a very minimal and positive effect on the land.  They will not impede the rights of way nor the dog-walking paths worn by years of usage.  

The group plans to hold a public consultation in later March (to be publicised on noticeboards, in shops and on social media and alyth.online) when they have drawings of what is planned, as well as more specifics on the timing of this project.  We hope to build enough plots that anyone can take part, and once established the allotments will be governed by a group of plot-holders.  The group has recently joined the National Allotments Association to learn as much as possible about best practice.  

If you would like to learn more, please contact the group at allotments4all@alyth.online and they will be in touch.  They want this to be a project that is open to all and that benefits as many Alyth residents as possible.

February board meeting minutes now available

The minutes of our February board meeting are now available for you to read. See what we’re currently up to, and let us know if you’d like to join our next board meeting in March. It’ll be an in-person meeting at the Community Wing, Alyth Primary School, Albert Street, on Monday 6 March starting at 7.00pm.

Millhaugh site wins £94k first-phase funding

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.

Alyth skateboarders to get their own park

Skateboarders in Alyth can look forward to an exciting 2023 now that a working group set up by Alyth Development Trust has identified a suitable site for a brand-new skatepark in the town.

The working group has selected the unused site on the banks of the Alyth Burn behind the recycling point on Mill Street and is submitting a planning application to Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) this month.    

At the same time, the working group intends to start consultations with the community of Alyth on the detailed plans, aiming to order equipment and begin preparing the site for installation in the first part of 2023.

Total funding for this first phase is £40k for site preparation and purchase of equipment and installations.  Two thirds of the money is coming from the Scottish Government’s Community Led Local Development Fund and the remainder from Alyth Development Trust’s funding from Temporis Ltd, the operators of the Tullymurdoch Windfarm.

The Mill Street site has been lying derelict and unused for many years, but is thought to be ideal for the proposed skatepark, with plenty of room for a variety of equipment, good access and close to the centre of town.  Currently PKC-owned, the site is to be transferred to community ownership as part of the project.

Photo shows (l-r) Working Group members Grant Train (chair of Alyth Community Council), Laura Rodger (director of ADT) and Angus Gray, on the site of the proposed skatepark.

ADT director and leader of the working group Laura Rodger said:  “Alyth’s young people have wanted a skatepark for a long time, and our Community Action Plan last year reflected this by including it as a priority project.  We believe this site is ideal for a skatepark and we’re excited about securing planning approval and then working with the community, especially Alyth’s young people, on turning the dream into reality next year.”

Angus Gray, an experienced skater on the working group, commented:  “I joined the working group to help bring a skate park to Alyth as it adds something missing and helps encourage people, young and old, to try something new.  It also adds to Alyth’s wheeled sports facilities.  We have the downhill track for ‘off-road’, so why not have a place for more urban sports?”

George Annan of Alyth Youth Partnership said:  “It’s something young people have been asking for for a long time. I am personally delighted that the working group have taken it forward to make it happen.”

Early Christmas present for Alyth with new Jubilee Park funding

Alyth is celebrating an early Christmas present with almost £24,000 of extra funding now confirmed for the Jubilee Park, allowing new benches and play equipment to be installed in over the coming months.

The Jubilee Park Working Group has secured grants of £10,000 from SSEN Transmission’s Drumderg Windfarm, £8,000 from Perth & Kinross Council’s Community Investment Fund, and almost £5,000 from Alyth Development Trust. 

The funding comes on top of more than £50,000 already raised and invested in building the new multi-user path around the Park, which was opened earlier this year.

Two new benches have already been installed along the new path using the latest funding, and they will be joined soon by three wheelchair-friendly picnic benches.  A hammock-swing has also been ordered for installation early next year, and the Working Group are now investigating the purchase of outdoor gym equipment.

Working Group chair Steven Boath (pictured above with Group members on one of the newly-installed benches) commented:  “This is a massive boost to our plans to make the Jubilee Park an even a greater asset for the community.  

“Better facilities for everyone to enjoy the Park, and especially more attractions for children, were highlighted in both our community consultation on the Park and the Community Action Plan last year and it’s great to see things actually taking shape on the ground,” he added.

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