East Links project discussed

MONEY seized from criminals may be a viable source of funding to help develop part of the East Links as a leisure facility, Montrose Together has heard.

At the group’s meeting on Monday, chairman Peter Davies said the project may be suitable for an application for money from Tayside Police’s Cash Back for Communities programme.

The scheme was set up to channel money taken from criminals into a variety of community projects across the force area.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the force’s financial intelligence unit can confiscate the profits made by criminals in the form of assets they have acquired including houses, cars and other goods as well as cash over £1,000 which is suspected of being the proceeds of crime or is to be used to commit crime.

Last year Tayside Police seized more than £210,000 in cash along with assets of more than £100,000.

Montrose Together is keen to see a BMX and mountain bike skills course developed on common land at the links between the Seafront Splash and the skate park at the Ashie car park.

Mr Davies said that before any funding could be applied for a project leader and group to progress the proposal would have to be identified, and he suggested Montrose Skate Park Committee could take on the project due to its involvement with the town’s young people.

He said: “I think it would be worthwhile pursuing as I feel it would be a good thing.”

Skatepark committee member Pete Cowan said that while the committee is keen to keep track of proposals for the links area, members are also keen to stay focused on the skate park itself.

He said: “If don’t disagree with you on that but I feel we need to be a bit cautions. If we spread ourselves too thinly we might not get anything done.

“I know there is enthusiasm from the young people and with the skate park it was their drive that pushed that project through. This is a development for them too so forming a group would be the way forward.”

Liz Pert, from Angus Council’s local community planning team, said she was sure there were young people who would be keen to be involved.

She said: “It’s a case of getting out and speaking to them.”

It was suggested that a meeting be set up with interested youngsters to find out if they would be keen to progress the scheme, with contact through Angus Council’s Youth Bytes bus, Montrose Academy and the YM.

The idea for the skills course was first put forward by Montrose Together two years ago. Last year, after a favourable environmental report on the East Links area, members of Angus Council’s neighbourhood services committee agreed in principle to proposals including an expansion of the skate park’s facilities and the development of a BMX skills course.

Additions to the skate park would include additional grind rails and boxes, tarmacing sections of the skating area and improving the viewing area.