£100,000 scheme for Wharf Street revealed by Heritage Trust

AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled for a £100,000 project to turn part of Wharf Street into a community space and complete a programme of improvements.

The area of ground between the Bamse statue and the site of the RNLI’s new lifeboat station would be tidied up, landscaped and a new “significant feature” included, possibly associated with Montrose’s maritime history.

There are also plans to install uplighting at the William Lamb statue ‘The Seafarer’ and erect decorative railings along the waterfront.

The proposals have been put forward by Montrose Heritage Trust and at Monday’s Montrose Together meeting its chairman, Andrew Orr, said the project will build on the trust’s earlier work at the west end of the street.

He said: “Montrose Heritage Trust adopted as its main project the Bamse Project which raised money for the statue on Wharf Street and as a result a very meaningful partnership was formed between the trust and Angus Council, which led to the west part of Wharf Street being done up to a high standard and it now receives visitors from around the world. But the good work stops very abruptly.

“The stimulus is the RNLI building its new lifeboat station which will improve that area but there will still be this unkempt piece in the middle.

“A new opportunity has arisen by the Big Lottery Fund launching Community Spaces Scotland and we believe this project suits the intention, scale and budget of that.”

The trust has again teamed up with the council to lodge a funding application, with the backing of Montrose Port Authority which owns the land, as well as to provide a designer. If the application is successful, the local authority will also manage the project.

Dr Orr added that as the lottery scheme is heavily community-orientated, the heritage trust will seek public opinion and suggestions for design and layout. South Esk School has already been approached and is keen to be involved in the project with the aim of using the area as an outdoor classroom.

He said: “We will be consulting with all the main bodies in the community and will also hold a public meeting. The application for stage one funding will have to be in by December 2 and we will find out in February if we’ve been successful.

“If this Big Lottery bid fails, and I have to consider that, this project will have been well worked up and we will find the funds somewhere else. The trust, in its way, is determined to see the completion of Wharf Street.”