Clearance work starts on Millhaugh site

view of derelict buildings on Millhaugh site
Image courtesy of Richard Wilkins/Blairgowrie Advertiser

We are delighted to announce that work to make safe the former sawmill site at Millhaugh is scheduled to start next week. During these works the public are not permitted to enter the site for safety reasons. We estimate that the work will last from 13 November 2023 until 1 March 2024. 

The works due to be carried out can only be done by trained and qualified construction staff. The tasks to be done are:

  • 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; 
  • Working at height – Potential of items falling from above can cause serious injury. 

For all these reasons, we cannot permit any public access to the site during the work. We appreciate your cooperation during this phase and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Find out more on the Millhaugh project page:

Local footpaths promoted with new leaflets

Alyth’s wonderful network of paths connecting it to the beauties of the surrounding countryside is getting a welcome profile boost thanks to a grant from our Community Projects Fund.

The Fund has given £2000 to the WalkAlyth project to fund the design and production of a range of leaflets detailing individual walking routes along existing footpaths starting and finishing in Alyth.  The routes vary from one hour to four hours in length and the leaflets provide not only a route-map but also pictures and interesting information about things to see along the way.

The leaflets are available from the local library, local accommodation providers and businesses, and can also be downloaded from Alyth.Online so that ramblers can use them on their phones or other mobile devices.

Local artist and craftsman Ron McGill , who has done all the research and photography for the leaflets, commented:  “Alyth is a wonderful centre for exploring the amazing local countryside, flora and fauna.  Until now, there has been little information available to visitors and members of the local community who want to enjoy this unique environment. 

“Walking is an increasingly popular pastime, which has many benefits for physical and mental health. We hope that these leaflets promoting walking around Alyth will contribute to the wellbeing of local people and also help to increase the number of visitors to Alyth, with benefits for the local economy.”

Leaflets/maps of walking and cycling routes around Alyth were identified as a priority in the Alyth Community Action Plan 2021-26. 

ADT’s Community Projects Fund distributes the community benefit funds provided for Alyth by the operators of the Tullymurdoch Windfarm, some five miles north of the town.  Applications to the fund are judged by an independent panel of volunteers drawn from across the community.  Apply at https://lovealyth.org.uk/projects/alyth-community-projects-fund/.

Date for your diaries  –  Skatepark consultation event, 17 November, Alyth Town Hall

The volunteers bringing the Skate Park to Alyth would like to invite you to an opening evening consultation on Friday 17 November in the Alyth Town Hall.

With thanks to your feedback earlier this year, the volunteers have worked with PKC to bring you six possible locations to vote on.

The session in the Town Hall will run from 7-9pm and you may enter at any time to review the location options and make your vote.  

During the evening you will be able to see up close the drawings for each site, read feedback from some of the children of Alyth, the target audience of the skate park, and children attending can enjoy the “design-a-skateboard” craft area.

In the first week of November we will share the six locations on the Alyth.Online site so if you are unable to attend and vote at the open evening consultation on 17 November you can register your vote by emailing skatepark@alyth.online.

Alyth’s gamers get help with venue costs

Gamers in Alyth will be able to continue enjoying their weekly get-togethers thank to a grant from ADT’s Community Projects Fund.

The grant of £2,000 will help to cover Game Square’s venue costs and keep it free for young people, and affordable and accessible for adults. Some 25-30 people attend Game Square sessions every week, but the Club was face with rising costs for suitable premises. Increasing membership fees would hit the younger members, vulnerable adults and those from low-income households for whom the club provides a welcome and much-needed weekly social outlet in a safe space.

The funding will allow Game Square to continue to run for another 12-18 months while they look for a viable long-term venue in Alyth for meetings. At present, not only are venue costs going up, the Club cannot always be certain which venue will be available from week to week. The club has already reduced its operating hours from four hours per session to three hours to help control costs.

Game Square in an all-ages gaming club running every Thursday in Alyth, helping to combat social isolation by providing a safe space for social gaming. They cover all types of gaming including: roleplay, board games, war games, card games and video games. See their Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/GameSquareAlyth.

ADT’s Community Projects Fund distributes the community benefit funds provided for Alyth by the operators of the Tullymurdoch Windfarm, some five miles north of the town.  Applications to the fund are judged by an independent panel of volunteers drawn from across the community.  Apply at https://lovealyth.org.uk/projects/alyth-community-projects-fund/

Allotments consultation completed; outcomes now being considered

Alyth Allotments for All, the volunteer group working to create new allotments space in Alyth, has completed its careful analysis of the extensive public consultations carried out on the project since last year.  The group now plans to finalise discussions with landowners early next month with a view to announcing the final choice of site before the end of the year.

For some years, there have been discussions of having a larger allotment site in Alyth to benefit the community, and in 2022 a volunteer group began exploring the options for this, following feedback from the Community Action Planning Process that reiterated the general desire for allotments (including two mentions in the 2009 Alyth 2020 report).  The group began inviting comments and suggestions in the Spring of 2022, and it soon became clear that there is overwhelming support in Alyth for the value of allotments and growing your own food, not only to ensure food security but also for positive mental health. 

Building on this, the Allotments for All (AFA) working group looked around Alyth at potential sites and continued collecting feedback and comments on the general idea of new allotments.  This culminated in a busy Alyth Allotments Public Consultation event on 19th June 2023 at which four possible sites were presented to the community (after initial very tentative discussions with landowners).  The four sites were: the Millhaugh part of Alyth Den; a triangular piece of unused farmland on Isla Road; a field adjacent to Jubilee Park; and part of the former golf course at the edge of Pitcrocknie village.

Since the consultation event, the volunteer committee has been collating all responses, comments and feedback received over the past 16 months and especially at and after the public event on 19th June this year.  Every response received in any form has been carefully considered.

A number of comments regarding garden sharing were noted and AFA have found that there are already UK-wide schemes available online for anyone to join: Lend and Tend https://www.lendandtend.com and also AllotMe https://www.app.allotme.co.uk 

Meanwhile, AFA hope to be in final discussion with landowners in early October and will report back on progress made.  Where concerns have been voiced that can be accommodated AFA will be raising them with landowners.  Sites may be eliminated as more is learned about their suitability, availability and accessibility.  The next actions for this work are to make a final choice on the site based on all the feedback received thus far, publicise that selection via social media, websites, ADT and ACC, and then form a larger governing committee and begin to make this site a reality.  NB:  AFA is a committee of volunteers donating their time and energy to creating a new resource for Alyth so the work proceeds as their time allows.

Alyth Allotments Public Consultation Event (detailed summary)

On 19th June 2023, 71 people attended the public consultation event in Alyth Town Hall.  38 comments sheets were filled in and 9 comments were left on the comments board.

Since that date the public have been invited (via social media and the Alyth Voice) to email or leave comments within boxes at the co-op and the library.  11 further comments were received and 10 emails.

Four sites were proposed (after initial discussion with landowners) as the possible location of allotments in various parts of Alyth: the Millhaugh part of Alyth Den; a triangular piece of unused farmland on Isla Road; a field adjacent to Jubilee Park; and part of the former golf course at the edge of Pitcrocknie village.

Feedback received showed the various sites all had positive and negative aspects (see below), whilst some people chose their preferred location and others made more general comments:

Millhaugh site transferred to community stewardship ready for new development

Alyth is getting ready to establish a new educational, environmental and tourism-related resource on the former sawmill site at Millhaugh, following the transfer of the land from private ownership to community stewardship.

The sale by the former owners to Alyth Development Trust (ADT) on behalf of the community was signed last week.  The deal clears the way for local people and groups to join together and agree on how best to ensure that the town benefits from having access to this beloved landmark.

ADT is inviting interested parties to agree on a date for a meeting in late September to begin mapping out what sort of activities and programmes the site could be used for, and how best they could be developed.  Many individuals and groups have already said they would like to be involved and ADT plans to contact them all, as well as invite others who want to join the process.  Suggested dates for the initial meeting will be circulated for comment soon.

If you or your organisation would like to be included in the invitation for the initial meeting, please email millhaugh@alyth.online.

view of derelict buildings on Millhaugh site
Image courtesy of Richard Wilkins/Blairgowrie Advertiser

At present, the site is being made safe and is not open to the public.  There is a significant amount of work to do with asbestos removal, removal of underground tanks and enclosure of some dangerous structures.  This work is being done by licensed professionals, paid for with grant monies from the Vacant & Derelict Land fund and the Scottish Land Fund and support from ADT.  It is expected that this work will take a few months to complete and ADT hopes to announce a more specific schedule as soon as possible.

George Hall, chair of ADT, said:  “This is a vital asset for Alyth, with so much potential to benefit all sections of the community in a variety of ways.  It’s essential that the community is represented as fully as possible in the design and planning that now needs to be done to make the most of the site.

“ADT is proud to have enabled the community to acquire the site and we are excited about supporting the community in deciding what to do with it.  We are urging anyone and everyone with ideas and opinions to get involved and make sure their views are heard.”

Ron Kirkpatrick, on behalf of the former site-owners, commented:  ““We are pleased to see this development which will see the site revitalised as a thriving asset for the community of Alyth.

July board minutes now online

The minutes of our July board meeting are now available to read online here: https://lovealyth.org.uk/about-alyth-development-trust/board-minutes/

Have a look and see what we’re currently doing, and if you’re like to know more then do please get in touch via alythdevelopmenttrust@gmail.com

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Monday 7 August, starting at 7pm. This will be on Zoom, and anyone is welcome to attend. Email us or send us a message on Facebook and we’ll send you the login link before the meeting.

Dr Bike at the Market, thanks to ADT Community Project Fund

Local people and visitors to Alyth Market on 22 July will be able to get their cycles expertly repaired thanks to a grant from Alyth Development Trust’s Community Projects Fund.

The independent panel that judges applications to the Fund has awarded £400 to Alyth Cycles to cover the costs of spare parts and staff provided as part of the “Dr Bike” service.

Alyth Cycles has attended previous markets and other events as Dr Bike, proving very popular and helping to encourage more people to get out and about on their cycles safely.

Dr Bike will be on hand at the Market in and around Alyth’s central Square throughout the Market Day, and if previous outings are anything to go by there’s likely to be a queue of eager cyclists looking to get some TLC for their machines, so get there early!

ADT and the Community Projects Fund panel are delighted to support this initiative once again, as it aligns with Alyth’s commitment to promoting sustainable transport and exercise.

Callum Brooks, who runs Alyth Cycles at The Barony Old Church on Commercial Street, said:  “We’re looking forward to meeting anyone with a bike needing some attention, whether you’re a casual rider or a keen enthusiast.  We’re grateful to the Community Projects Fund for making this possible.”

ADT’s Community Projects Fund distributes the community benefit funds provided for Alyth by the operators of the Tullymurdoch Windfarm, some five miles north of the town.  Applications to the fund are judged by an independent panel of volunteers drawn from across the community.  The next deadline for applications to the fund is 15 July.  Apply at https://lovealyth.org.uk/projects/alyth-community-projects-fund/

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