£1.5m boost to south side of town

Angus Council have accepted £1.5 million towards the new access road which will be built at the south side of Montrose.

Finance Secretary John Swinney announced in November that Scottish Enterprise was awarding the local authority the cash but the formal offer didn’t come in from the agency until a few weeks ago.

Council chiefs agreed to the terms and submitted a report to councillors, who have accepted the cash towards the £3.4 million spine road.

Up to £900,000 will go towards works associated with the design and construction of the South Montrose Spine Road from the junction of Ferry Street and Caledonia Street, through to the eastern end of Barrack Road - this is known as “section two” of the road.

Work is expected to start before the beginning of September and be completed by March 31, 2016.

A further £600,000 would be for additional works, such as new roads that may be required during section two of the spine road. Currently, no such roads have been identified.

The additional works are set to be completed by March 31, 2017.

However, Councillor Bill Duff says it could take a year before work can start on the first stage of the road.

The first phase will see a new road being built from Rossie Island Bridge to Ferry Street and the second will see the road continue from Ferry Street to GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Cobden Street site.

Phase one of the spine road was approved last month, but before work can start a warehouse and a house on River Street and a garage building on Ferry Street need to be demolished to allow for the construction of a new section of the roadway linking River Street with Ferry Street.

The council has acquired the residential property in River Street, but Mr Duff said it could be a year before phase one begins because of contractual issues with the properties that need to be demolished.

The spine road is part of the South Montrose Regeneration Project and will improve access to the port, GSK and the wider port area.

Mr Duff said: “I think the spine road is important for Montrose as the port employs 700 jobs and is one of the top 10 amenities in Angus.”

He added: “We hope other companies will want to invest in the area.”

Councillor David May said: “I believe this new road will provide a huge attraction to businesses to come to Montrose and Angus with the easy access to the only commercial port facilities in our county.

“I was involved in setting up the South Montrose Study at the outset, and helped to steer it through the council, and am more than aware of the huge potential this area in our town can have in providing a boost to jobs and tapping into the offshore wind developments, as well as encouraging other businesses.

“However, there was a great need for partners and investment in order for this to occur. With this funding from Scottish Enterprise I hope we will be able to progress this quickly, as both the Montrose and Angus economy will benefit.”